University of Utah researchers find that states having strong prevailing wage laws reported 16% fewer injuries and illnesses than states having no law.
Having a prevailing wage law is important to worker safety and health. So is having a strong law. Norman J. Waitzman and Peter Philips found that states having strong prevailing wage laws reported 16% fewer injuries and illnesses — and 14% fewer lost time injuries — than states having no law (see chart, below).Even states with average-strength laws had higher rates of construction injuries than states that had weak laws.
The results "suggest that the regulatory and workplace environment supported by such laws are an important element in safety promotion," Waitzman said.
He and Philips teach at the University of Utah and serve on the CPWR Economics Research Network. This research was supported by CPWR – Center for Construction Research and Training.
(Classified by Thieblot, 1993)
Note: Ranking is based on how close prevailing wage rates are to union rates; "strong" states have the closest ties. Some of the laws have changed since 1993.