Three Reasons Labor Unions Help Improve Workplace Safety

Workers that are unionized have the ability to speak out about workplace safety hazards without fear of reprisal. Furthermore, because unions have the ability to put pressure on employers to address safety issues, businesses are incentivized to address and prevent issues or suffer significant productivity losses.

Unions and Workplace Safety

A labor union is a group that acts as a go-between for its members and their employers. The basic goal of labor unions is to enable workers to bargain together for better working conditions and other benefits. In this page, you will find some significant considerations that unions can use to promote workplace safety.

Unions look after their members.

Labor unions in Canada like the teamsters industrial trades division file complaints with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, which is in charge of monitoring and enforcing workplace safety regulations and investigating and fining corporations that violate them. Inspections are more common in unionized businesses, and the prospect of unionization may drive employers to improve worker safety.

Unions help workers get the safest working environment

One of the most fundamental advantages that unions have is the capacity to bargain collectively. Workers may commonly assume that they lack a voice or that if they speak up, they will have little impact to affect positive change in their workplace.

Workers who join a union agree to bargain collectively for their rights in order to safeguard their interests. This gives them significantly greater bargaining leverage when it comes to lobbying for better safety conditions and more equitable work hours. Because of their ability to cover a full group, employers are forced to reach a negotiated settlement.

Many individuals believe that the activity of a labor union ends with the signature of a collective bargaining agreement. After reaching an agreement, union officials engage with employees and management to ensure that the terms of the agreement are respected on both sides of the bargaining table.

Unionized workers get better health benefits.

In March 2019, 95% of civilian unionized workers and 68% of non-unionized workers had access to employer-provided healthcare. Employees have access to the benefit whether or not they want to join. An employer-sponsored health plan was used by 84% of unionized workers and 54% of non-unionized workers. Union workers enrolled at a rate of 88 percent, while non-union workers joined at a rate of 79 percent.

Outpatient prescription medicines are covered, as are medical, dental, and vision care. Medical care and outpatient prescription medication coverage were the most common healthcare benefits available to both union and non-union employees.

More than three-quarters of unionized workers had access to dental care, and more than half had access to vision coverage. Non-union workers had access to dental benefits in 40% of cases and eye coverage in 23% of cases.


Labor unions and businesses have similar goals. Companies strive to give their customers a high-quality product or service. Unions seek to offer the best possible working conditions for their members in order for them to thrive in their employment. Unions can ensure employee safety and productivity on an equal footing by working together.