As the curve flattens, our research shows that feeling comfortable returning to normal activity will require significant safety precautions, especially for those working in manufacturing. As industries grapple to optimize reopening manufacturing operations, they must take employee concerns seriously so as to ensure high employee morale and engagement and not face public backlash.

Notably, manufacturing workers prioritize reform that aids dislocated workers and protects essential businesses who work to protect their employees from health issues from unfair litigation more so than reform to safeguard employees at work. Overall, Americans would also be more likely to support legal protection if companies demonstrate accountability for employee safety and are transparent.

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans are confident in the manufacturing industry to reopen safely for consumers, which is similar to their sentiment about the safety for employees.

In terms of implications, manufacturing employees and the general population alike acknowledge the need for the economy to recover through reopening while supporting businesses who comply with standards to protect their employees. There exists confidence that businesses can do this. Companies who do right by employee safety will best satisfy all stakeholders and ultimately fare better when the economy fully repairs.


Greg Paratore

Research Director

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