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Press release from Business Wire

Staples.com Survey Shows Gaps in Office Health and Safety Preparedness

<p class='bwalignc'> <i><b>In Advance of National Safety Month, Survey Shows Most Office Workers Unsure of their Company's Safety Plans</b></i> </p>

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Staples.com Survey Shows Gaps in Office Health and Safety Preparedness09:00 EDT Thursday, May 31, 2012 FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (Business Wire) -- A Staples.com survey of small business managers and office workers on office health and safety showed gaps in office workers' awareness of companies' safety plans and preparedness, a situation that could lead to increased accidents and injuries. The survey, conducted in advance of National Safety Month, found that managers were far better informed on workplace safety preparedness than office workers, who were uncertain on what they should do in case of an emergency. According to a Staples.com survey, office managers were almost 50 percent more likely than non-managers to be able to locate their company's safety-related supplies such as caution and wet floor signs. (Photo: Business Wire) For example, nearly 70 percent of managers say their company has an emergency communication plan, but nearly half of office workers are either unsure if a plan exists or say their company doesn't have a plan. In addition, 50 percent of office workers said they participate in safety drills only once every few years or never. Only 19 percent of office workers think their company is prepared for a major medical emergency. According to the survey, managers were almost 50 percent more likely than non-managers to be able to locate their company's safety-related supplies such as defibrillators, eye wash, dust masks, and caution and wet floor signs. Staples can help small businesses prepare for emergencies and prevent accidents with an expanded assortment of high-quality and dependable safety supplies, which now includes a significantly larger selection of personal protective equipment like gloves and eye/ear/face protection, fire extinguishers, first aid supplies, and even defibrillators. Investment in safety preparedness makes good business sense. An effective safety and health program can save $4 to $6 for every $1 invested, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).1 “Staples knows that employees are the foundation of any small business, and their health and safety is a major priority for small business owners and managers,” said Steve Bussberg, Senior Vice President, Staples.com. “As a trusted source for office solutions, Staples.com has expanded its safety product assortment in support of health and safety in the workplace, making it easier for small businesses to protect their employees by preparing for emergencies and preventing workplace accidents.” Additional safety findings: When it comes to fire, more than 70 percent of both managers and office workers felt their company was somewhat or very prepared. When it comes to flooding only 50 percent of employees felt their company was adequately prepared. This is a particularly concerning statistic because, according to the National Weather Service Forecast Office, flooding causes more damage in the United States than any other severe weather-related event, costing an average of $4.6 billion a year.2 While 56 percent of managers said they were either very prepared or somewhat prepared in case of a hazardous material exposure, only 23 percent of office workers said they would know what to do in that circumstance. About the Survey The Staples.com Safety Survey was conducted through a third party research company and had 412 total respondents, (208 office managers and 204 office workers) from small businesses with under 50 employees. About Staples Staples is the world's largest office products company and a trusted source for office solutions. The company provides products, services and expertise in office supplies, copy & print, technology, facilities and breakroom, and furniture. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and now has annual sales of $25 billion, ranking second in the world in eCommerce sales. With 88,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, making it easy for businesses of all sizes, and consumers. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com/media. Follow Staples on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/staples and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/staples. 1 OSHA.com, “Q&A's for Small Business Employers,” http://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3163/osha3163.html 2 National Weather Service Forecast Office, “Flood Safety Awareness Week,” http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/tfx/hydro/FAW/fawinsurance.php?wfo=tfx Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50294293&lang=en StaplesMark Cautela, 508-253-3832Mark.Cautela@Staples.com