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New York City Council Moves to Crack Down on Construction Site Safety

After an increase in construction related deaths, the New York City Council is poised to consider a raft of proposals aimed at increasing safety on jobsites throughout the largest city in America. Crane safety is on the minds of council members as is the oversight of smaller jobsites. 

If this package is passed, there would be stricter monitoring of “troubled actors” and increased penalties for lawbreakers.

More details from a site called Crain's New York Business:

The legislation, called the Construction Safety Act, is led by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, but some elements could face resistance from Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has ambitious goals for housing development and has clashed with construction-worker unions. The mayor has already expressed skepticism with one of the council measures, a bill to require training programs for construction workers.

“Unsafe construction sites endanger the lives of workers and anyone unfortunate enough to be nearby," said Mark-Viverito, who along with 13 other council members and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer are sponsoring bills. "The Construction Safety Act will not only help prevent accidents, it will make sure that contractors who violate site safety laws are held fully accountable.”

The problem has been festering for quite a while, leaving the situation ripe for government action. In February of last year, the New York Posted reported there was a rush to expand the skyline in NYC, leading to an uptick in such accidents:

The rush to expand the city’s skyline has led to a record number of construction accidents and injuries in the last year.

There were 433 accidents in 2015 compared with 231 in 2014. A total of 471 hardhats and pedestrians were hurt, a 91 percent increase over the 246 injured in 2014, city Department of Buildings records show.

And the streak shows no sign of slowing down. On Friday, a crane collapsed in Tribeca, killing a pedestrian and injuring three others. A day earlier, a construction worker fell to his death at an East Harlem building.

Deaths from construction accidents rose to 11 in 2015 from eight in 2014, DOB stats show. Six of the deaths were due to falls.

The city council is taking up the proposals this week.