Workplace Safety Can Give Small Business Owners a Recruiting Edge, EMPLOYERS® Survey Finds

RENO, Nev. — September 6, 2017 — With the U.S. unemployment rate hovering at 4.4 percent, small businesses looking to grow may have a harder time finding talent to fill open positions. Many factors motivate job seekers, but a new survey of small business employees by EMPLOYERS® (NYSE: EIG), America’s small business insurance specialist®, found that small business owners may be underselling an important factor that could give them an edge when recruiting new talent. The survey found that, surprisingly, the safety of the work environment was among the top criteria employees consider when evaluating a new job offer. It ranked behind expected criteria such as compensation, the nature of the work and proximity to home, but ahead of factors such as the quality of potential coworkers and opportunities for professional growth.

The survey also found that while most (89 percent) small business employees believe their employers make workplace safety a high priority, one out of 10 disagree. People who work at businesses that employ 86 to 100 people were more likely to say their employer prioritizes workplace safety (96 percent), compared to people who work at micro-businesses that have one to nine employees (87 percent).

Employees of certified women-owned business were also more likely to believe their employer places an extremely high priority on workplace safety (62 percent). Women-owned-businesses are more likely than the average small business to provide workplace safety training once a year.

“In today’s tight labor market, it’s important that small businesses, which employ more than half of the American workforce, recognize safety of the work environment is a top priority for employees. One way for employers to attract and retain valued talent is to have and communicate a commitment to workplace safety. By fostering a safe work environment, small businesses can protect and retain their most valuable asset, their employees,” said David Quezada, Vice President of Loss Control at EMPLOYERS.

Employees Feel Comfortable Addressing Workplace Safety, But Employers are Falling Short in Providing Training

The survey also explored the comfort level small business employees have addressing workplace safety concerns with management. More than half of employees (52 percent) said they would report concerns to the business owner and nearly half (48 percent) said they would speak with a direct supervisor. Women said they are more comfortable reporting work-related safety issues (51 percent) than men (43 percent).

While workplace safety is a priority for many small businesses, the survey reveals that more can be done to foster safe work environments. The EMPLOYERS survey found:

How to Create a Culture of Safety in the Workplace

“Creating a culture of workplace safety starts at the top,” Quezada said. “Business owners and management need to set an example by offering regular training and displaying proper safety signage, as well as by being open to their employees who report concerns. Yet with the need for small business owners to wear many hats, and without the luxury of dedicated risk professionals on staff, many could benefit from additional resources to help them foster a safe work environment.”

EMPLOYERS recommends the following steps small business owners can take to create a culture of workplace safety that protects their workers and may provide a recruiting advantage:


EMPLOYERS® surveyed 1,011 US adults who work at small businesses. The survey was fielded using the Qualtrics Insight Platform and panel was provided by Apex Ops Group panel services. Fieldwork was conducted between May 3 – May 5, 2017. The margin of error was +/- 5 percent.

Contact Information

Media Contact: Lauren Meckstroth, The Abbi Agency
(775) 446-4678 or

Company Contact: Mike Paquette
(775) 327-2562 or

Investor Relations Contact: Adam Prior, The Equity Group, Inc.
(212) 836-9606 or

About Employers Holdings, Inc.

EMPLOYERS® and America’s small business insurance specialist® are registered trademarks of EIG Services, Inc. Employers Holdings, Inc. is a holding company with subsidiaries that are specialty providers of workers’ compensation insurance and services focused on select, small businesses engaged in low-to-medium hazard industries. The Company operates throughout the United States, with the exception of four states that are served exclusively by their state funds. Insurance is offered through Employers Insurance Company of Nevada, Employers Compensation Insurance Company, Employers Preferred Insurance Company, Employers Assurance Company and Cerity Insurance Company, all rated A- (Excellent) by the A.M. Best Company. Not all companies do business in all jurisdictions. See and for coverage availability.