Join the Union and Be Safe: The Effects of Unionization on Occupational Safety and Health in the European Union

TitleJoin the Union and Be Safe: The Effects of Unionization on Occupational Safety and Health in the European Union
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsEconomou, Athina, and Theodossiou, Ioannis
JournalLABOUR
Volume29
Issue2
Pagination127 - 140
Date Published2015///
Keywordshealth and safety, injuries, occupational safety and health, work accidents, work injuries, worker deaths, worker safety, workplace
Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of unionization on occupational safety and health, as measured by the fatal and non-fatal work accidents, after controlling for the country's gross domestic product. It uses a panel sample of 10 European Union countries, for the period 1982–2006. The study takes into account the time persistence in work injuries and the endogenous nature of the work injuries–union density relationship. In addition, the effect of union density is decomposed into a temporary and permanent effect. It is shown that increasing union density is associated with a decrease in the number of both fatal and non-fatal work injuries.