Friday, November 15, 2013

Construction Fatalities Linked to Lack of Training

A new Public Citizen report reveals that in New York City, most construction fatalities occur at sites where state-approved training programs are not required. In 2011 and 2012, 36 construction workers died on the job in New York City, and 72% of those fatalities occurred on sites where workers did not participate in state-approved training and apprenticeship programs.

Existing laws set training requirements for construction contractors under city contract, and the city also funds construction projects through “public benefit corporation” entities that publicly finance projects through tax incentive financing. However, these projects lack the same worker training requirements as projects under city contractors.

The Safe Jobs Act, which is pending in the New York City Council, aims to ensure training for all construction workers on taxpayer-funded projects, not just those working under city contracts. Other elements of the bill include requiring construction companies to disclose violations of labor, tax, or safety and health laws, and requiring companies working on projects larger than $1 million that are taxpayer-supported to run apprenticeship programs.