Almost every week, it seems, New York City tragically loses another construction worker in what could have been a preventable accident. At the time of this blog, there have been a total of 33 construction worker deaths in NYC in the past two years. Increasing safety standards and training improvements seem to be key to avoiding even more fatal accidents in the future.
The growing epidemic has grabbed the attention of lawmakers in the form of proposed safety and training legislature. And a coalition of New York City construction unions increased their lobbying efforts recently to garner enough support from council members to sponsor the bill.
The coalition, called Building Blocks NYC (BBNYC), is made up of Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust and District Council 9 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. This week, they announced their intentions to gain more city council support, particularly from the 22 members who had yet to show support for the proposed bill.
Although the primary purpose of the bill, Intro 1447, is to improve construction worker safety, opponents of this bill claim it also mandates union labor. Language in the bill is currently being amended to show support for all workers. "BBNYC is fighting for safety and training standards for all workers - union and non-union alike," states the coalition on its website.
BBNYC encourages concerned citizens to send an email to city council members to either encourage them to support Intro 14477, or to thank them for already doing so. Links are provided on the coalition's website.