Drawing on multi-year data collected and reported by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Indiana Department of Labor (IDOL) recently pointed out that the rate of workplaces injuries and illnesses is now at an all-time low in the Hoosier State:
At 3.5 injuries or illnesses per 100 full-time workers, the 2016 nonfatal injury and illness rate for Indiana is the lowest number of injuries and illnesses in Indiana history. This represents a 7.9% decrease from the previous record low of 3.8 in 2015.
(See the link below to read a summary of IDOL’s analysis.)
Workplace safety in Indiana and around the U.S. has been generally improving for decades, but opponents of compulsory unionism may be interested to learn that, during all of the first five years the Indiana Right to Work law was in effect (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016), workplace injuries and illnesses were lower than they had been in any of the years when the state was still forced-unionism.
Indiana’s experience is typical of Right to Work states. In states that have Right to Work laws, whether newly adopted or longstanding, injuries on the job routinely decline, often more rapidly than in forced-unionism states as a group. There is, then, no credible evidence that forcing workers to bankroll a union facilitates workplace safety in any way. Yet top union bosses like the Teamsters Jim Hoffa frequently seek to justify Big Labor coercion of workers based on the pretext of concern for their safety.
There is plenty of evidence that forced unionism is correlated with fewer job opportunities and slower income growth for workers, but there is no identified correlation at all between forced unionism and improvements in workplace safety over time. Hoffa, other union bosses, and their apologists should stop pretending otherwise.