New York City is home to a thriving construction industry. Because the city is proliferated with construction sites, cranes, and other heavy machinery, many believe there should be tougher standards to protect the safety of workers and the general public. Others, particularly companies and contractors who profit from construction, don’t necessarily agree with the added costs of increased safety measures. On Tuesday, both sides squared off during a hearing with the City Council Housing Buildings Committee over 21 bills pertaining to construction safety.
Known as the Construction Safety Act, the package of bills was designed to stem the steady increase of fatalities on construction sites across the city – from 17 in 2011 to 25 in 2015. Some of the key points in the act are as follows:
- The Act includes six bills that concern the use of cranes. This includes laws that require operators to phase out old cranes when they’ve been in use for a certain period of time, mandatory installation of GPS devices and data loggers on cranes, requirements to have a trained lift director onsite whenever a crane is in use, and laws that prohibit the use of cranes when winds or gusts exceed a certain mph.
- One provision will require city officials to keep more precise records of construction site incidents that result in victims being hospitalized or killed. Current records revealed that the city does not accurately keep track of deaths in the construction industry.
- The act includes measures for increased safety training among construction companies and their employees, including requirements for workers to complete OSHA’s 10 hour program.
- Because many construction accidents – especially fatal accidents – involve falls, the Act includes provisions that would mandate better guardrail and safety netting standards.
- A bill included in the act would target construction companies considered habitual offenders with multiple safety violations, and impose tougher enforcement and penalties, including suspension from performing work in the city.
As a firm that has represented many victims injured in construction accidents throughout New York City, Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices supports efforts to make construction sites safer for workers and the general public. However, even when there are laws and regulations in place, victims can still be injured as a result of negligence and shortcuts taken by companies that place profits over people. Fortunately, injured victims have rights, and our firm is here to protect them.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a construction accident in New York City, our legal team at Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices is available 24/7 to help you during these difficult times. We are also available to make home and hospital visits if necessary. To discuss your rights during a free case consultation, contact us today.