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New construction safety legislation could bring change for workers

It is no secret that some occupations are more dangerous than others. Even though ever activity carries some kind of risk, there are some jobs that require workers to be in hazardous situations or in situations that can quickly become hazardous.

Since the Industrial Revolution, governments have either attempted to or succeeded in implementing laws and regulations designed to increase the safety on workers. While there are opinions for and against these actions, they are continuing to this day.

Construction fatalities in NYC

According to a recently released article, 30 New York City construction workers died over the last two years due to job-related incidents. These fatalities and the regulations that allowed them to happen have sparked protests in the new year.

Union vs. Non-union training

Data collected in regard to these fatalities shows that 80% of the construction deaths happened at construction sites that were not run by unionized construction workers. This is particularly significant because one of the main differences between unionized and non-unionized workers is that unionized workers are required to complete intensive work training programs before they can work.

The Construction Safety Act

Legislation aimed at decreasing the number of work-related accidents and increasing worker safety was recently introduced by the City Council for consideration.

The Construction Safety Act is composed of multiple pieces of legislation that attempt to achieve multiple goals. Some of these goals include,

· Requiring training for both unionized and non-unionized construction workers

· Increased reporting of safety violations

· Tracking of workers with histories of dangerous/risky behavior

· Increase penalties for companies that allow for dangerous working environments

· Requiring site-specific safety orientations

· Expansion of site safety plan requirements

While there has been much support for this act, there has also been opposition. Much of it has come from business, but some has come from individuals and organizations that are concerned that the increase in training requirements will make it more difficult for immigrants for obtain these jobs.

It is worth noting that a study conducted by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH) found that minorities face a dis-proportionally large amount of work-related risk and that minority workers made up the majority of construction fatalities.

While this act in particular and this type of legislation in general may not be perfect, it may serve to make construction work safer for all workers. Accidents do happen, however. If you are involved in a construction accident, it is highly suggested that you seek out the services of an experienced legal professional who specializes in these types of issues.

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