Three Reasons Why Labor Unions Can Contribute to Increased Workplace Safety

Members of labor unions can speak out about workplace safety risks without fear of reprisal. Furthermore, because labor unions can pressure companies to address safety issues, businesses are driven to address and prevent difficulties rather than risk experiencing significant productivity losses.

Unions and Workplace Safety

A labor union like TLU 987 is an association that acts as a link between its members and their respective employers. The basic goal of labor unions is to give workers the ability to bargain collectively for more favorable working conditions and benefits, among other things. The following are some of the most critical aspects of how labor unions can improve workplace safety.

Unions look after their members.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) in Canada is responsible for monitoring and enforcing workplace safety regulations and investigating and fining enterprises that violate them. Labor unions submit complaints with OHSA on behalf of their members. Workplace safety inspections are more common in unionized businesses, and the prospect of unionization may drive employers to improve workplace safety practices. 

Unions help workers get the safest working environment

One of the most significant advantages that unions enjoy is the capacity to bargain collectively on behalf of their members. Frequently, employees may assume that they do not have a voice or that, if they do speak up, they would not have much influence in bringing about positive change in their workplace environment.

Workers who join a union pledge to bargain for their rights as a group in order to safeguard their own interests and that of their fellow workers. The result is that they have far greater bargaining power when negotiating for improved safety standards and more equitable working hours. Because of their ability to cover a large number of employees, companies are forced to reach a negotiated settlement.


Many people feel that the work of a labor union ends after the signature of a collective bargaining agreement, but this is not the case. Following the conclusion of a negotiating agreement, union officials engage with employees and management to ensure that the terms of the deal are adhered to on both sides of the table.

Unionized workers get better health benefits.

95 percent of civilian unionized workers and 68 percent of non-unionized workers had access to employer-sponsored healthcare coverage in March 2019. Employees have access to the benefit regardless of whether or not they want to engage in the program. An employer-sponsored health plan was used by 84 percent of unionized workers and 54 percent of non-unionized workers in 2010. Eighty-eight percent of union workers joined, compared to only 79 percent of non-union workers who signed up in the same period.

The plan includes coverage for medical, dental, and vision services and coverage for outpatient prescription medicines. For both union and non-union employees, medical care and outpatient prescription drug coverage were the most readily available healthcare benefits.

According to the survey, most unionized employees had access to dental coverage, and more than half of them had access to vision coverage. Non-union workers had access to dental benefits in 40 percent of cases, but just 23 percent had access to vision coverage in most cases. Did this article raise your interest in unions? Click here to learn more about unions located in the Alberta area.


Labor unions and business organizations have a set of common goals. It is the goal of every company to serve their clients with a superior product or service. The goal of labor unions is to provide workers with the best possible working circumstances so that they can thrive in their jobs. Unions can work together to ensure that employees’ safety and productivity are on an equal playing field.