Workplace Health and Safety

The labor movement has always led the charge to protect working people from workplace injury, illness and death. Working with allies, we have won strong protections against hazards and stronger rights for workers. Through organizing and collective bargaining, unions have gained even stronger protections and rights that have given workers a real voice in safety and health at the workplace. 

The labor movement fought to pass the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 that promises working people the right to a safe job. We have made real progress: Workplace deaths and injuries have declined dramatically. In fact, the lives of more than half a million workers have been saved by strengthening workplace protections. But too many working people still work in unnecessarily unsafe conditions. Thousands of workers are killed each year—and millions more suffer injuries or illnesses—because of their jobs. There is much more work to be done and we continue to advocate for safe workplaces.

Did You Know
Workers 65 or older have three times the risk of dying on the job as other workers.
4,836
The number of workers killed on the job in the United States in 2015.
No one should have to sacrifice their life for their livelihood, because a nation built on the dignity of work must provide safe working conditions for its people.”
  • Thomas E. Perez
Did You Know
There is one OSHA inspector for every 76,000 workers.