A study from the University of Chicago finds that 85% of workers rate safety first in importance among labor standards, ahead of family and maternity leave, minimum wage, paid sick days, overtime pay, and the right to join a union.

Public Attitudes Towards and Experiences with Workplace Safety drew on dozens of surveys and polls conducted by the University's National Opinion Research Center.

Despite widespread worker concern about safety, the study found that the media and general public tend to pay closest attention to safety issues when disastrous workplace accidents occur. Even during those tragedies, the fate of workers is often overlooked, such as during the recent oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Although most workers say they are satisfied with safety conditions at work, they also reported job-related stress, a contributing factor in workplace injuries.

For the full study: http://news.uchicago.edu/images/pdf/100827.NORC.Public_Attitudes.pdf.