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Push for protection against construction injuries grows stronger

Construction workers continue to amass support in their drive to implement mandatory apprentice training of new workers in the industry. Recently, the firefighters' unions and the transport workers union in New York City joined the Building Trades Council to promote such training. Because untrained non-union workers in the city suffer most of the construction injuries and deaths each year, the training programs have become a rallying cry for union workers seeking progress.

The President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York led a crowd of a few thousand workers in a lobbying effort at City Council headquarters in City Hall. City Council is currently considering a 20-bill construction safety reform package of which the training segment is one part. The movement is partly fueled by the scandalous findings of journalists and commissions over the past several years.

These entities have all concluded that most of the injuries and deaths occurred to undocumented workers on non-union sites, and that they were totally avoidable. The contractors controlling those sites have even been prosecuted by the authorities in some cases. It was also concluded that New York City has the highest fatal occupational-injury rate in the construction industry, at 4.7 times higher than the national average.

It appears that out of a complex mix of movements and groups seeking change, there will be increased safety and training measures instituted for New York City in the relatively near future. This will likely bring apprentice training into the picture. Workers suffering construction injuries will benefit by seeking monetary compensation in the form of workers' compensation coverage for all work-related injuries and deaths. Workers facing issues of monetary compensation or medical expenses will benefit by obtaining a consultation with an attorney experienced in workers' compensation litigation.

Source: thechiefleader.com, "Fire Unions Back Building Trades In Bid for Construction-Apprentice Bill", Bob Hennelly, Feb. 6, 2017

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