"Frontline worker" is a wide-ranging term used to describe someone whose job requires them to interact with the public in person. According to a recent survey conducted by Verkada based on interviews with more than 1,000 workers nationwide, many frontline workers don't feel safe on the job and wish employers would do more to make workplace safety a priority.
"Our research reveals a disconcerting picture for the frontline workforce driving our economy," Brandon Davito, senior vice president of product and operations at Verkada, said in a press release published by Safety + Health Magazine. "… workers who serve in critical roles interacting with the public are worried about their safety every time they show up to work. As employers, policymakers and public safety leaders, we need to address these alarming trends and ensure that the safety of our people is the top priority."
What is an example of a frontline worker?
Frontline workers span various industries, including:
- Public safety employees, such as police officers and firefighters, who ensure community security and respond to emergencies.
- Healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, and medical professionals, who provide critical medical care and support.
- Restaurant employees, from waitstaff to chefs, who cater to diners' culinary needs.
- Retail workers, from store clerks to managers, who assist customers with their purchases.
- Educational and childcare employees, including teachers, daycare workers, and teaching assistants, who shape young minds and provide care.
- Hospitality workers, encompassing those in hotels, motels, cruise ships, and vacation-related services, who cater to guests' needs.
- Transportation workers, including bus drivers, train conductors, airline staff, and public transit employees, who ensure smooth travel experiences.
- Politicians and public officials, elected representatives, and government workers who contribute to public governance.
- Utility workers in sectors such as electrical, gas, and oil industries who maintain essential services.
What did the recent survey discover?
The recent study conducted by Verkada surveyed 1,000 frontline workers nationwide. Researchers asked workers whether they felt safer on the job now compared to 12 months ago. The survey revealed the following:
- 58% of all frontline workers did not feel completely safe at work.
- 69% of healthcare workers worry about aggressive behavior from patients.
- 59% of healthcare workers worry about being assaulted.
- 58% of retail workers worry about aggressive behavior from customers.
- 40% of all frontline workers are more concerned about their safety compared to 12 months ago.
- 40% of all frontline workers would quit their jobs if they could do so but cannot afford to due to financial concerns.
Common frontline worker injuries
Frontline workers are susceptible to a wide array of severe workplace injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions.
- Neck injuries, such as neck fractures.
- Back injuries, including spinal cord injuries (SCIs).
- Hip injuries, including hip fractures.
- Injuries to the arms and hands, ranging from broken arms to fingers.
- Leg and foot injuries, which may involve leg fractures and broken toes.
These injuries often arise from hazardous work conditions. Instances of on-the-job injuries caused by dangerous work conditions include:
- Physical assaults from individuals, be it members of the public or co-workers.
- Lack of adequate security personnel, leading to employees encountering attacks or assaults at the workplace.
- Absence of safety training for workers.
- Failure to supply workers with necessary safety equipment, such as hard hats, eye protection, and face shields, depending on the task.
- Inadequate maintenance contributing to slip-and-falls due to wet or hazardous surfaces.
- Unsanitary work environments resulting in infections and other work-related injuries.
Keeping frontline workers safe
To ensure the safety of frontline workers, employers should implement proactive measures against workplace injuries arising from unsafe conditions and potential hazards. These preventive strategies include:
- Conducting routine workplace inspections to ensure safety and the absence of hazardous situations.
- Offering comprehensive safety training and equipping employees with the necessary safety gear.
- Swiftly addressing and rectifying any hazardous workplace conditions.
- Providing security measures at workplaces where employees have experienced threats or dangerous incidents, fostering a secure environment.
We fight for injured workers in New York
At Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP, our attorneys are dedicated to advocating for the rights of frontline workers in New York City and throughout New York. With a deep understanding of the challenges these workers face after a work-related accident results in injury or illness, we are committed to providing the support and legal guidance our clients need.
If you are a frontline worker who has been injured while on the job, our experienced legal team is here to stand by your side. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you navigate the legal system, ensuring your well-being and rights are protected. We have 12 offices conveniently located in New York, including five offices in New York City.