The construction boom in New York City is something that the industry and its workers are enjoying for the foreseeable future. With increased work, however, there also comes an increase in construction injuries and deaths. A big issue now facing city officials is how to go about getting that problem under control.

The answer is in worker training and beefing up the mandates of the existing apprenticeship program that is required in the union shops. At least, that is the position of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. That is an organization of union members that supports the immediate implementation of training measures in all construction companies operating in the city.

Training is not required generally by the non-union builders. On Jan. 31, the issue was intensified by the appearance of thousands of union workers outside of the City Council meeting that was taking up the topic. The President of the Building and Trades Council pointed out that 27 of the 30 deceased construction workers in the past two years were non-union workers.

The spokesman for the non-union workers also attended but did not embrace the position of the union workers. The non-union position is that immediate training on-site can occur through abbreviated federal training programs. He stressed that many poor non-union workers would have their jobs in jeopardy due to being forced to go through formal educational programs, including classroom studies.

Regardless of the nuances of the battle, it seems clear that the New York City Council will come up with some legislative measures to combat construction injuries and deaths. Injured workers should also know that they may have a right to make a private claim against certain entities that may have been negligent in causing the accidents. In addition, the families of those who died may have a wrongful death claim for damages. The most effective way to determine one’s rights is to meet with an attorney who has experience in these kinds of construction accident claims.

Source: commercialobserver.com, “DOB Commish Opposes Apprenticeship Requirement at Safety Hearing“, Terence Cullen, Jan. 31, 2017