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Frequency of Workplace Controls and Associations With Safety Perceptions Among a National Sample of US Food Retail Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

July 01, 2021
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Ceryes, Caitlin; Robinson, Joelle; Biehl, Erin; Wirtz, Andrea L. PhD; Barnett, Daniel J.; Neff, Roni

Objectives:
Explore workplace control frequencies and factors associated with US food retail workers’ safety perceptions during COVID-19.

Methods:
An online, cross-sectional survey captured working conditions and safety perceptions among a large, national sample of US food retail workers from July to October 2020.

Results:
Overall, 40.3% reported feeling “not so” or “not protected” by COVID-19 controls. Administrative controls were more commonly reported (56.8% reported ≥5 controls) than engineering (19.5% reported ≥3). Fomite-related controls were more common than those reducing interpersonal contact. After adjustment, organizational safety climate (prevalence ratio (PR): 1.53, 95% CI: 1.24, 1.89), and perceived strict prevention measure enforcement (PR: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.46, 0.78) were associated with safety perceptions.

Conclusions:
Many workers do not feel well-protected by COVID-19 controls. Safety climate and control enforcement are associated with workers’ COVID-19 safety perceptions.