Right-to-Work States Have Lower Workplace Injury Rates

Big Labor’s fatal error on state employee afflictions

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It’s a repeated and deceptive talking point from Big Labor that becoming a right-to-work state will result in lower workplace safety. This is a convenient objection, but not supported by the data.

Consider Oklahoma, which became a right-to-work state in 2001. From 2000 to 2010 its workplace injury rate plummeted, decreasing their average workplace injuries and illnesses by nearly 40 percent. Oklahoma's injury and illness rate is less than in Michigan. Overall, right-to-work states have a slightly lower incidence of workplace injuries.

It's true that right-to-work states have a greater incidence of fatal workplace injuries, but the very dangerous occupations are concentrated in just a couple of industries and in occupations like farming, fishing and forestry regardless of whether the state has a right-to-work law.

Unions can negotiate over working conditions, but it's unlikely that this has a major influence over workplace safety, especially when there's the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the legal system and better business management. Certainly these have a greater influence over the safety of workplaces than whether unions are able to force members to pay dues or agency fees.

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Besides, right-to-work, which prevents a union from getting an employee fired for refusing to financially support a union, does not affect a union's ability to negotiate over working conditions.

Workplaces in America are safer than they’ve ever been. This, however, is not because of the union’s power to collect forced dues and agency fees. 


See also:

Facts On Right to Work vs. Forced Unionization States

The Public Employee Union Problem

10 Stories Showing Why Mandatory Government Collective Bargaining Is Counterproductive

Right-to-Work Law Would Help Ensure Government Unions Could Not Elect Their Own Bosses


Related Articles:

Fact and Fiction About Right-to-Work: A Reality Check at the One-Year Anniversary

How Right-to-Work Can Make Unions Stronger

Rule Request Would Require Public Sector Unions To Notify Members Of When They Are Eligible To Resign

Watch Vernuccio Discuss Labor Reform at Heritage

Labor Reform Not a Death Knell for Legislators After All

Vernuccio and Bowman Author Wall Street Journal Op-Ed

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Ted Nelson is a retired Michigan State Police officer who trained police departments throughout the state on civil asset forfeiture. He believes the practice has been misused and needs to change.

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