Must government intervene in the economy to bring about improved working conditions? No. Should government intervene in the economy to bring about improved working conditions? Again, no.
Employers will either improve the working conditions or compensate for their lack of improvement until it becomes inconvenient to do so. If they don’t, they will have no workers, because the workers will go somewhere else to work.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has done nothing but hinder this process. When it was created, the decline in workplace fatalities was 70% slower than it had been before OSHA. Twenty-five years after its creation, it was generating three times more costs than benefits at its best.
So no, government is not needed to bring about better working conditions.