We’ve known this for decades and now the journal Science has empirical proof that workplace safety and health inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) save lives, reduce employers’ costs for workers’ compensation and do not have any negative economic effect on the inspected businesses.
The authors of the study—three professors from the University of California, Harvard Business School and Boston University—say they set out to answer a simple question: Do government regulations kill jobs—as business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Republican lawmakers claim—or protect the public?  
The authors studied 409 California industries that had high injury rates and were inspected by California OSHA from 1996 through 2006. It compared results at those businesses with 409 similar companies that were not inspected in that time period.