Worker Safety: Response from the Census Bureau
Last week, I posed questions about worker safety at the Census Bureau after I read articles about Census Bureau employees who were attacked by dogs, facing people with shotguns (assuming the enumerators were trespassers), and two employees who were so lost for eight hours that a search involving the armed forces was needed to find them. I wanted to know what type of safety training was received by run-of-the-mill Census Bureau employees during their four days of paid training before they are thrust into their jobs. Here is the response I received from Stacey Gimbel, a public affairs specialist from the Census Bureau’s Headquarters:
The safety of our employees is of the utmost importance to us, so much so
that we instill safety information in our employees from the get-go in
trainings, manuals, and even safety reminders in their first pay stubs.
ALL employees working in the field on the 2010 Census receive training and
detailed information on steps they can take to protect themselves in a
variety of settings. For example, we provide safety instruction on
encountering pets and other animals, how to avoid or handle vehicular
accidents, and general guidelines on personal safety while walking alone.
Additionally, employees are instructed to contact their supervisors if they
consider an area too unsafe to work in.
Because the safety and well being of our employees are of the utmost
importance, we have taken all manner of precautions to ensure our employees
are as safe as possible while working for us.
Like all federal agencies, the Census Bureau regularly reports information
on work-related injuries of employees to the Department of Labor. The
information can be found on the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration’s Web site.