It took just one week for another construction accident to hit the front pages after NYC’s major construction trades held a rally at City Hall to support a new bill to provide additional protection for workers. The bill would obligate all workers on buildings taller than 10 stories to go through state-approved apprenticeships—training programs administered almost exclusively through unions and unionized companies. This time, 3 workers got buried as the trench inside which they were working collapsed. The work, to the façade of a Brooklyn multiple dwelling, was being done without a permit from the Department of Buildings. In addition, the trench was almost certainly not properly shored. The new bill provides welcome added protection for our construction workers, but still more needs to be done. There need to be more site safety inspections, stiffer penalties when building owners and construction companies take short cuts, and absolutely no rollback of our existing protections for construction workers, such as Labor Law sections 200, 240(1) and 241(6).
Article: 3 Buried When Ground Gives Way Outside Brooklyn Rowhouse: FDNY (NBC 4 New York, December 14, 2015)