Back in May, disturbing statistics were brought to light that construction site inspections throughout New York have decreased and consequently, injuries and deaths to workers have increased. Well, to combat this trend, lawmakers, real estate groups, and construction workers have banded together and have agreed to tighten construction site regulations according to the New York Times.
The New York City Council reached a consensus on approving a bill that requires workers on construction sites to undergo at least 40 hours of safety training. Construction sites that are found guilty of violating these new regulations could be fined up to $25,000. This vote came less than two weeks after two construction workers died on the same day in two separate accidents in Manhattan.
The Fight for a Safe Workplace
This new bill has also allocated $5 million for training day laborers and small contractors who may not be able to afford it otherwise. It has also relaxed the timeline for implementation. This will allow workers to remain employed until December 2018 as long as they have completed at least ten hours by March of the same year.
According to a New York Times investigation in 2015, construction worker death rates had gotten so extreme that they had outpaced the rate of new building.
In 2015 and 2016, twelve workers died in construction accidents. It has been proven that many of these workers were immigrants who were often undocumented and unable to speak about the poor working conditions they were subject to.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, called for workers safety to be a priority for his administration. He explained this sentiment in a statement to the New York Times:
“This vote means that New York City hard hats will get the safety training they need for one of our city’s most dangerous jobs, and that will help get them home to their families at night and keep construction sites safe for everyone.”
The New Bill Had Critics
There are a number of groups who have voiced reservations about the initial proposal of this new bill; however, the revised version addressed most of their concerns. The revised bill included the assurance of funds to make training accessible to all workers, even for those who couldn’t afford it.
The Real Estate Board of New York still has its reservations. They believe that the revised form of the bill will still leave permits out of reach for thousands of construction workers across the state.
This has been combated by many, including council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito who believes that debate over this bill is unwarranted. She has said that the time for debate has passed and that “we are not as a legislative body going to sit by and allow workers to continue to die.”
Speak With a New York Construction Accident Lawyer Today
It is well documented and known that construction work in New York is an extremely dangerous profession. With high rises and new development constantly going on throughout the state, the likelihood of being in an accident if you’re a construction worker is high. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident in New York, contact the experienced construction injury lawyers at Lever Gottfried Ecker PLLC right away so we can discuss providing you with legal representation. We will take your case personally and work hard to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve.