In response to a large increase in worker deaths in the last fiscal year, changes to the status quo are being proposed. Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater NY, said it is a priority to get legislation passed requiring workers on buildings over ten stories to participate in a Department of Labor approved apprentice program.
This proposal would apply to both public and private projects. LaBarbera was quoted as saying “someone in the city has to stand up for construction workers who aren’t represented.” He pointed out that of the 17 construction related deaths in NYC this year, 14 were non- union workers.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has already been informed of LaBarbera’s proposal. It goes without saying that if construction companies invest in training their employees there is a likelihood of diminished accidents. However, better training must go hand and hand with better overall job site safety. The proper protective devices necessary to keep workers safe need to be on site, available and in good working order to help stem the flood of construction accidents.