RTW states are the ‘worst’ in U.S. for worker safety

72% of the worst half of all states are RTW





Workers in the so-called “right-to-work (for less)” states are far less safe on the job, a recent nationwide study by WalletHub reveals.

In this special Labor Tribune issue with its focus of workers and safe working conditions, this little known aspect of RTW is an interesting, and tragic, tale Missouri lawmakers need to consider when trying to foist this anti-worker law on Missourians as they have tried recently despite the overwhelming public vote rejecting this phony law.

The October 2021 study compared 55 key safety indicators grouped into five categories: workplace safety, personal and residential safety, financial safety, road safety and emergency preparedness.

In the key element considered in this special issue, workplace safety, the study looked at fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 full time workers, injuries and illness per 10,000 full-time workers, median days lost due to job injuries and illness and the presence of Occupational Safety and Health Plans.

Based on the top 25 “best” and the bottom 25“worst” states, the survey shows, again, why RTW is bad for workers – in this case their safety:

WITH RTW: 18 of the “worst” 25 states – 72 percent – are RTW states where worker safety rates are the lowest.
WITHOUT RTW: only seven of the “worst” 25 states – 28 percent – with NO RTW law are in the worst half of all states in workers safety.

WITHOUT RTW: 16 of the top 25 states – 64 percent – with NO RTW law are considered the “best” states for workers safety.
WITH RTW: Only nine of the top 25 states – 36 percent – are RTW states listed in the top 25 “best“ states for worker safety.

Tragically, Missouri ranks 42nd out of all 50 states. Illinois fares better at 27th. Given the in-fighting and negative approach in the Republican-controlled Missouri legislature over doing anything positive for working-class Missourians, don’t expect this terrible position to change. The rankings also indicate how positive the Democratic administration in Illinois works on behalf of its workers. A thought for us all in the upcoming November elections.

“When a trades person goes to work, they expect the job site to be safe so that they can come home safely to their family every day. That RTW states are less safe for workers, is a tragedy that we don’t want to have in Missouri,” said John Stiffler, executive secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Building Trades Council.

Noted Pat White, president, Greater St. Louis Labor Council, “While we usually talk in terms of the negative economic impact this phony law has on our families, worker safety is a critical issue that again makes it clear why we don’t want this ugly law in Missouri.”

The survey was conducted as part of the ongoing research efforts of WalletHub, a financial services site based in Washington DC. that also offers insights on a diverse variety of community of subjects. Its data and charts are frequently referenced in news articles appearing in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, USA Today, Forbes, Yahoo and The New York Times.

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