Survey Reveals Small Business Safety Concerns, Unusual Claims

Pie Insurance survey reveals small businesses' top safety concerns, lack of heat preparedness, and some bizarre workplace injury claims
By: | May 28, 2024
running from spider

Understanding workplace safety risks and being properly prepared can help protect businesses and employees from a wide range of potential workplace hazards, including spiders and robots.

Pie Insurance Services Inc. recently surveyed 1,034 small business owners, those with less than 500 employees, to uncover insights into top safety concerns, how prepared businesses are for summer heat, and to learn about some uncommon accidents that can occur on the job.

When it comes to workplace safety, hindsight is 20/20 for many small business owners, the survey showed. Nearly a third of survey respondents, 30%, said they wished they had made employee safety more of a priority from day one of running their company. This oversight has proven costly, with half of the small business owners polled reporting a workplace injury claim within the past five years.

The survey also shed light on a growing area of concern in workplace safety: mental health. A notable 13% of business owners said mental stress was the most common injury experienced at their company over the past half-decade. Left unchecked, psychological strain can take a heavy toll on workers and businesses alike, Pie noted.

Asked to describe their worst-case safety scenarios, small business owners painted a grim picture. Many cited catastrophic events like natural disasters and workplace violence as their biggest fears. Others pointed to the specter of untreated mental health issues among employees.

As summer temperatures climb, heat safety in the workplace is becoming an increasingly pressing issue, but about a third of small businesses are not adequately prepared to deal with the challenges posed by extreme heat, the survey found.

Among small business owners, 35% reported that they have not made any adjustments or plans to cope with rising temperatures. This lack of preparedness is concerning, especially in light of the fact that 31% of respondents said their employees have been more vocal about the impact of high temperatures on their work.

Working in hot conditions can lead to a range of health problems, from heat exhaustion and dehydration to more serious issues like heat stroke, according to Pie. It can also affect productivity and morale, as employees struggle to stay focused and comfortable in sweltering workplaces.

When it comes to workplace injuries, some are far more bizarre than the typical slip and fall.

One small business had to file a claim after a bird flew into a worker’s face, breaking their nose while they were on the roof of a house. In another case, a restaurant cook suffered second-degree burns after dipping their hand into a vat of hot caramel.

Animals were the culprit in other strange incidents. An employee at one company was nipped by a baby skunk, while a worker at another business broke their foot frantically running away from a spider.

In one case, a robotic arm being tested for its grasping ability suddenly grabbed the female employee operating it, inflicting trauma to her chest.

For more information on the small business survey and unusual injury claims, visit Pie website. &

The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected].

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