Organize for Health & Safety

At all levels of government and in the workplace, workers, unions and community groups can help keep workers safe on the job. Workers can influence elections. They can help write and lobby for new laws; they can participate in developing new or improved regulations, and they can improve the oversight and enforcement of OSH policy. Most importantly, workers can organize at their worksites to make sure everyone is safer. To determine how to go about this, it is important to know how OSH laws, regulations and policy are made and enforced. With an understanding of these processes and also how different agencies and branches of government may be used to bring pressure when an occupational safety and health concern is at issue, it becomes possible to organize effectively for health and safety.

Organizing Booklets

  • Health and Safety Campaigning - issued by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work for some tips on getting the message across and tips for organizing a campaign to improve health and safety.
  • Labor Research Review: Organizing for Health & Safety - a publication of the Midwest Center for Labor Research, this issue is from 1990, and though it is a little outdated it offers helpful tips for organizing around OSH issues as well as historical accounts of successful OSH organizing campaigns.

Fact Sheet - What Can You Do?: A Union Activist’s Role
Union activists can lead organizing efforts to keep workers safe. This fact sheet provides an introduction for getting involved in the different levels of OSH governance and enforcement.

Union & Worker Action
Organizing on the job: Safety and Health Committees, raising awareness, workers rights and employers responsibilities.

How to improve OSH laws and regulations - to assure better worker protection

Take Action Now! - This is where we post information about current legislative and regulatory proposals and provide tools for advocates. Check back regularly for updates.

Improve OSH Laws
Grassroots Lobbying: Understanding Californias legislative process, its relation to OSH protection, and organizing to improve protections for workers.

Improve OSH Regulations
Regulatory Advocacy: Understanding Californias Rulemaking Process (known as Administrative Law), how OSH Regulations are promulgated, and how workers and their representatives can organize to improve regulatory protection.

Need more background? Below is some information that will help you understand a bit more about how laws and regulations are written, the differences between federal, state and local governments and who has authority over occupational safety and health, and the differences between the different branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial) and how each impacts occupational safety and health. The information linked below is available in our comprehensive Guide to Workers' Health & Safety Rights & Filing a Cal/OSHA Complaint.