Scaffolding, Fall Prevention Top the List of Construction Violations in New York, Study Finds
By Josh Cable
A review of more than 2,500 OSHA construction site inspection records in New York from 2003 found that nearly one-third of all OSHA construction violations in the state were of OSHA's scaffolding or fall protection requirements - more than for any other standard.
The organizations involved in the analysis also said the results of this study as well as a separate review reveal troubling data about the plight of immigrant workers in the construction industry.
Their analysis, titled "Lives in the Balance - Immigrants and Workers at Elevated Heights at Greatest Risk in Construction," was prepared by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) and issued by NYSTLA, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now NY (ACORN), Make the Road by Walking and the New York Immigration Coalition. It reviewed all construction site inspections conducted in the state during 2003.
NYSTLA President Shoshana Bookson says the study points to the need to keep Section 240 of the state's Labor Law - which governs scaffolding safety - on the books.
In addition to retaining the scaffold law, "Lives in the Balance" recommends more rigorous OSHA construction safety rule enforcement; hiring of more OSHA compliance officers who speak the same languages as immigrant workers; and more extensive construction worker safety training, especially in English, Cantonese and other languages spoken by immigrant workers.
About the Author
Josh Cable is Senior Editor for IndustryWeek at Penton Media. He was formerly the Associate/Managing Editor for Occupational Hazards magazine.