The AFL-CIO Now Blog reports that Rev. Brian Jordan ran in the New York Marathon to honor the 19 construction workers killed on the job this year. The staggering number of construction injuries this year highlights the importance of safety standards and training at construction sites. Rev. Jordan noted that nonunion workers are far more likely to be injured on a worksite. The AFL-CIO has also reported that one in five Latino construction workers are injured or killed on the job.
These facts emphasize the importance of supporting the laws of New York that protect construction workers. Labor Law 240 and 241 have been the target of the construction industry for a long time, but this last year shows how important these protections for worker safety are. The state of New York provides special protections to workers at elevated job sites. Codified under New York’s Labor Law Section 240(1) and 241(6) – these statutes, commonly known as the “Scaffold Law”, allow construction workers who are hurt in falling accidents, to file a personal injury lawsuit against their own employer. At this time of rampant construction accidents we should be seeking to extend the rights of injured construction workers, not limiting them.