Union Construction Sites are Safer than Non-Union Job Sites

A recent study released by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute concluded that union construction sites are safer than non-union job sites. In the study, The Impact of Unions on Construction Worksite Health and Safety: Evidence from OSHA Inspections, the IEPI and University of Illinois analyzed data from over 37,000 OSHA inspections in the construction industry in 2019 and found that its conclusion held true in each of the major construction sectors. After accounting for variables such as construction sector and scope, type, region, and month of inspection, the study’s authors found that union work sites averaged 31% fewer health and safety violations.

The study reasoned that this result is the effect of the factors the define the unionized construction industry: it attracts, develops, and retains workers through high quality, registered labor-management apprenticeship programs and family sustaining wages.