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Work conditions ‘unpleasant, potentially hazardous’ for more than half of Americans: study

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Santa Monica, CA – Nearly 55 percent of American workers claim they encounter “unpleasant and potentially hazardous” conditions on the job, according to a study from nonprofit research institute RAND Corp., Harvard Medical School and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Using survey results from the American Working Conditions Survey, researchers analyzed data from 3,066 respondents ages 25 to 71 in 2015. Of the respondents, 2,066, or 67 percent, said they were employed at the time the survey was conducted. Nearly 1 in 5 workers reported exposure to a “hostile or threatening social environment at work” – a figure researchers called “disturbingly high.” In addition, 50 percent used free time in the past month to satisfy the demands of the position.

Other findings:

  • Nearly 75 percent of respondents spend at least one-quarter of their work hours performing “intense or repetitive” physical labor.
  • 1 in 4 said they do not have enough time to complete job tasks.
  • More than one-third said they have no control over work schedules.
  • 66 percent said they frequently work at a fast pace or under tight deadlines.

“We hope that these data will contribute to a constructive debate on how to improve working conditions, especially for those that are most affected by some of the more taxing job conditions we document,” the researchers state in the study.

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