Construction is arguably one of the most dangerous industries in which to work, if not the most dangerous — particularly in New York. In fact, over the past two years, more than 30 construction workers have died in work-related accidents in New York City.
Given the dangers associated with construction sites, one would think that any law designed to make these jobs safer would be a good idea. For instance, earlier this year New York City Council members introduced the Construction Safety Act — a set of 21 different pieces of legislation focused solely on construction safety.
However, while tougher construction safety laws are a no-brainer for many, there are those that disagree. Indeed, many lawmakers and various industry groups simply cannot reach an agreement in regards to the Construction Safety Act.
Two opposing sides
Many of the disagreements associated with the NYC Construction Safety Act boil down to certain provisions, including provisions advocating for an apprenticeship program.
While most union groups are in favor of the apprenticeship program, many non-union groups claim the program is unnecessarily expensive and a disadvantage to certain workers. In addition, according to a Crain’s report, Mayor Bill de Blasio may also be skeptical of the apprenticeship/training program.
However, regardless of which side of the debate you may fall on, one thing is certain: something needs to be done to improve the safety of New York construction workers. Simply put, more than 30 fatalities in just two years is unacceptable. And even though it may be too early to know whether or not the Construction Safety Act will become law, there is no denying that construction workers deserve more protection.