Staples’ Business Safety Survey: Natural Disasters Top Concern

Survey Highlights Discrepancies in Business Safety Preparedness and Ergonomic Support, in Advance of National Safety Month this June

Less than half of small businesses said they are prepared for severe emergencies or that safety plans are communicated regularly. Staples suggests that businesses stock up on emergency items like food, water, flashlights and blankets, enough to help sustain employees for up to three days. (Photo: Business Wire)

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--()--Natural disasters are the top safety concern among office employees, yet the majority of businesses (60 percent) said recent disasters, including Hurricane Sandy, haven’t led them to reassess their safety plans, according to Staples second annual workplace safety survey. Survey results on business risks and emergencies were issued in advance of National Safety Month.

Consistent with last year’s results, the survey discovered significant discrepancies between safety perception and actual preparedness. Only half of employees said their company communicates a safety plan – a basic tenet of safety preparation – but, three out of four believe their businesses take safety seriously. In emergency situations, nearly 25 percent of employees report their companies only communicate what to expect “at the last minute.”

Furthermore, according to survey results, small businesses appear to be more at risk for safety concerns than medium-sized businesses. Specifically:

  • Less than half of small businesses said they are prepared for severe emergencies or that safety plans are communicated regularly.
  • Thirty-eight percent said their small business does not have safety training or drills.
  • Medium-sized businesses were more likely to have plans in place for emergencies such as evacuation (90 percent), shelter in place (46 percent) and building lockdown (56 percent).
  • Medium-sized businesses reported a wider array of safety equipment on-site.

“Staples knows that businesses take safety seriously in order to protect their greatest assets: employees,” said Bob Risk, senior strategic safety, health and wellness manager, Staples. “With an expanded assortment of safety supplies, from first aid kits, fire extinguishers and personal protective equipment to ergonomic furniture and technology accessories, Staples offers solutions to help businesses keep workers safe, healthy and productive.”

Staples Safety and Emergency Preparation Tips

Staples recommends these additional steps to help prepare for emergencies and maintain a safe work environment:

  • Stock up on emergency items: In addition to an emergency evacuation plan, business should have enough food, water, flashlights and blankets to help sustain employees for up to three days. Items like masks and crank-powered radios can further help businesses be ready for any emergency.
  • Help prevent accidents: The second foremost safety concern among survey respondents was trips, slips and falls. Prevent accidents by installing floor matting and placing hazard signs where appropriate.
  • Be mindful of ergonomics: One-third of respondents experience pain or discomfort at their workstation and a quarter reported “numbness” or “tingling.” Providing ergonomic equipment helps prevent workplace injuries.
  • Back up data: One quarter of respondents do not have access to a secure server for data back-up. To help protect data and make it accessible, consider using a secure VPN, cloud storage and external hard drives.

For more information and tips for small businesses, visit To learn more about how Staples can help medium-sized businesses with safety preparation and products, visit

About the Survey

Staples conducted an online survey of more than 400 office workers and 400 decision makers at organizations of all sizes across the U.S. The survey, conducted in May 2013, asked a series of questions about general office safety.

About Staples

Staples is the world’s largest office products company and second largest internet retailer. For 26 years, Staples has served the needs of business customers and its vision is to provide every product businesses need to succeed. Through its world-class retail, online and delivery capabilities, Staples offers office supplies, technology products and services, facilities and breakroom supplies, furniture, copy and print services and a wide range of other product categories. With thousands of associates worldwide dedicated to making it easy for businesses of all sizes, Staples operates throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at

About Staples Advantage

Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), serves organizations of 20 or more employees up to the Fortune 1000, including global businesses, local, state and federal government, healthcare organizations and educational institutions. The Staples Advantage one source solution includes comprehensive products and services from office supplies, technology and printing to promotional products, furniture and facility supplies. Dedicated to providing organizations with greater cost savings and improved ordering efficiencies, Staples Advantage provides a customized level of account support and best-in-class customer service. More information is available at


Mark Cautela, 508-253-3832
Nina Akerley, 469-262-4685

Release Summary

In advance of National Safety Month, Staples releases results of its second annual workplace safety survey on business risks and emergencies.


Mark Cautela, 508-253-3832
Nina Akerley, 469-262-4685