Construction companies that get any government contracts in Texas may soon face penalties if they don't do a certain amount of safety training. Senator Bob Deuell, a Republican physician from Greenville, said his bill, SB 167, makes business sense as well as offers protections for workers.
"Other states and other places where they do that kind of training - they just cut down on their injuries. I don't think it's too cumbersome on businesses. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," he said. "The business community, I think, supports it. It costs them a lot more to deal with injuries than it costs to pay for training. There will be some people who don't like it but the data is there. If I were running a business I would just be doing it anyway."
20 years ago, Senator Deuell helped shape a worker safety training plan for the Rubbermaid plant in Greenville, Texas. He said it was good for the workers and the company's bottom line. "Their workers' compensation claims just went down really, really low," he said.
According to the bill, "a governmental entity that enters into a construction contract must require that the contractor ensure that all employees working on the general construction site that is the subject of the construction contract have completed construction safety training. Before an employee works on the general construction site, the contractor must receive and provide to the governmental entity a certificate of training completion for the employee."
The amount of a penalty imposed would be $100 per day for each employee working in noncompliance.
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