Chopra & Nocerino, LLP

New York City updates safety training for construction

Construction is the deadliest industry in New York. In the capital, the number of construction deaths went from 17 in 2011 to 25 in 2015, while construction-related injuries (at least, those that were reported) rose from 671 in 2016 to 761 in 2017. In response to this, there have been changes to safety training regulations.

A law approved by the New York City Council back in October 2017 requires workers on specific construction sites to receive 40 hours of OSHA training by June 2019. The course, named OSHA-30, initially covers the role and responsibilities of OSHA as well as what its fatality reports are like. It then goes into what OSHA calls the "fatal four" in workplace accidents: namely, falls, electrocution, struck-by incidents and caught-in-between accidents.

The course ends by going over workers' rights to a job site free of safety and health hazards. The job site must be secured with the right protective measures, and employees must have the right personal protective equipment. Employers should also, ideally, be hiring reputable contractors, but all too often they go for the lowest bidder.

The New York Safety and Training Center is one of a few places in New York City that offers the OSHA-30 class in person. Online classes are available, too. Rates are relatively low so as to benefit at-risk and underserved populations.

Many workplace accidents occur not so much through the employer's fault but through the employee's. In such cases, employees can still be compensated for the cost of treating their injuries and for a percentage of the income they lose. All they have to do is file for workers' compensation benefits. Unlike an injury claim, the plaintiff does not prove that anyone was negligent. Workers' comp can still be denied, so victims may want to consult with a lawyer.

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