Union membership can mean safer construction sites

On Behalf of | Jul 18, 2018 | Work Injuries

There is no disputing the fact that construction workers should have safe work environments. These men and women face hazards on a daily basis that most people will never encounter. And yet, they are often subjected to egregious work conditions that can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.

Many people might not realize this, but one of the obstacles that construction workers face today is the decline in union memberships. Unions have a proven history of enforcing very strict safety standards. They are prepared to take action if there are workplace hazards. Unfortunately, the decrease in union membership means that there is less oversight of the construction sites around New York City.

High expectations

Construction workers should have high expectations when it comes to their safety at work. They should demand that their employers provide everything necessary to keep the work site safe. Unfortunately, some employers will try to turn the tables on their employees and claim that safety falls on them.

When a worker belongs to a union, they have the backing of that union to handle issues like lax safety standards. It can be rather difficult for non-union members to handle these issues on their own, but it certainly isn’t impossible. Any construction workers who suffer on-the-job injuries should seek medical care and learn what options they have to pursue compensation.

Reasons for increase in safety with unions

There are many reasons why construction sites manned by union workers are safer than ones with non-union workers. One of these is that workers who are union members will usually be less afraid to report injuries. Thus, it might appear on the surface that union members are more unsafe due to higher incidences of reported injuries and/or workers’ compensation claims even though that is not actually the case.

Even though there are more union worker claims, the lost work time for them is much lower than for non-union workers. The accidents that are reported are also not as serious as those from which their non-union worker counterparts suffer. In fact, the rate of critical incidents reported by union members is around 29 percent lower than the rates for non-union workers. Union members don’t have to file for disability benefits. Instead, they file solely for needed medical benefits and then return to work.