Construction workers, safety advocates, unions and elected officials are calling for more worker training, safer worksites and stronger regulations to help curb the number of injuries and fatalities occurring at construction sites in the state of New York.
The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) – along with members from Greater New York LECET, the Building and Construction Trades Council, New York City Council members and community organizations gathered Jan. 18 to release its latest construction fatality report, “Deadly Skyline: An Annual Report on Construction Fatalities in New York State.”
Researchers found that employers routinely violate worksite safety regulations with impunity.
NYCOSH unveiled report findings on the day that a package of legislation was introduced by the New York City Council. NYCOSH explicitly called for legislation including an increase in training for construction workers and mandatory apprenticeship programs on large construction sites to create safer job sites.
According to a labor representative, “New data shows an astounding increase in worker fatalities in New York State and New York City, as well as safety violations at 90 percent of construction fatality sites. The new legislation introduced by the City Council will go a long way towards creating higher standards in the industry and prevent more needless deaths.”
The NYCOSH report revealed, among others, that adequate education and training, like OSHA 10-hour courses, should be required for all New York City construction workers and apprenticeship programs for large projects, as well as:
- Preserve the Scaffold Safety Law, and Pass the NYS Elevator Safety Act to require workers to be licensed.
- Require new NYS “Criminal Contractors” legislation to establish effective penalties against contractors whose willful negligence causes a worker fatality; and
- Investigate revoking licenses at the City level for companies convicted of felonies that cause a worker death.