Too many construction workers die in New York City because they are not proprely trained for the job. Yesterday the Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET) and District Council 9, International Union of Painter and Allied Trades (DC9 New York) announced that they were joining forces by creating Building Blocks NYC, a new coalition to advocate for the passage of Intro 1447 by the New York City Council. Intro 1447 is a legislation that would increase training for all construction workers in New York City, union and non-union alike.
Over the last 2 years 33 construction workers died on the job in New York City. The most recent fatal construction accident in the city occurred last week in Time Square, New York. 59 year old Jose Cruz fell 18 feet to his death. Cruz fell from an I-Beam. At the time of the accident, Cruz was wearing a safety harness but it wasn’t tied it off. The accident was completely preventable. (see previous blog)
Cruz was working for Streamline USA, a non unionized contractor. Streamline has a history of safety violations on its construction sites and was fined twice by OSHA over the last year. The majority of fatal NYC construction accidents occurred on non-unionized construction sites. Building Block NYC believes that many of these fatal accidents may have been prevented if employees were proprely trained. Unlike unionized contractors who require their employees to sit down in classrooms and participate in rigorous training programs, many non unionized contractors neglect to proprely train their employees.
Among the 18 bills introduced last January by the City Council to protect construction workers, Building Blocks NYC believes that Intro 1447 sponsored by Jumanne William, is the most important. 22 Council members are still opposing the bill. The new coalition hopes that the campaign launched yesterday will raise awareness about Intro 1447 and lead the 22 council members to change their opinion.
Read more about it in the NY Daily News