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We set out to compile a list of rules and policies that could be implemented by state and local governments to provide better protections for U.S. workers. This manual includes more than two dozen such ideas, organized into thematic chapters:

Chapter 1: Empowering Workers, with proposals designed to strengthen workers' individual and collective power to demand changes in their workplaces;
Chapter 2: Making Sure Crime Doesn't Pay, with ideas for strong enforcement of workplace health and safety rules that will punish bad actors and deter similar behavior;
Chapter 3: Strengthening Institutions, with recommendations intended to bolster government agencies' efforts to protect workers.

The manual is drafted in clear and concise language and it presents each recommendation as a direct solution to an enduring problem in the workplace. The authors also helpfully provide examples when the recommendations are based on successfully implemented programs. Our hope is that this manual will be a starting point for discussion among our allies, especially groups that are new to the health-and-safety arena.

Publication Date



Center for Progressive Reform


Washington, DC


occupational safety, health, safety


Social Welfare | Workers' Compensation Law

Winning Safer Workplaces: A Manual for State and Local Policy Reform