Construction workers in New York City may need to finish 40 hours of safety training. That is if the City Council’s revisions to a construction safety bill receive approval.
Workplace safety has become a contentious issue among labor unions in the state. This is amid the spate of injuries and deaths from construction-related accidents. Some have chosen to seek help from New York personal injury attorneys such as those from Marc J. Bern & Partners. Others have urged local officials to enforce stricter measures.
The City Council’s changes to the safety legislation would reduce the time of required training. As part of the original proposal, each worker would need to undergo 59 hours of training for projects more than three stories high.
Construction unions have rallied for the measure as a way to improve workplace safety. The revised bill could take effect in November if the local council before the end of September. The local government has enacted several safety bills into city law with little or no opposition. Yet, the specific hours for safety training seem to be the most controversial. The Real Estate Board of New York described the bill’s 59-hour requirement as an arbitrary move. They call the requirement as a vested interest only among trade unions.
If numbers do not lie, then the safety bill’s proponents could use the number of construction accidents to make their case. The New York City Buildings Department said that construction accidents had claimed at least five lives so far in 2017.
The department recorded 12 deaths in 2016 and 2015, up from eight fatalities in 2014. Depending on the total number for 2017, the death toll could go on an upward trend.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has included construction safety as a top priority. The bill, if enacted into law, would further symbolize that initiative.