Insurance Journal: OP-ED: Study Suggesting N.Y. Scaffold Law Causes Injuries Misuses Statistical Techniques

“In my view, a recently publicized study misuses sophisticated statistical techniques and produces results that are inaccurate. (See “Study Says N.Y. ‘Scaffold Law’ Drives Up Construction Costs, Causes Injuries”) The analysis was conducted by the Rockefeller Institute, a branch of the State University of New York, with a Cornell University professor serving as a consultant.

Regrettably, it appears to me that these researchers misused sophisticated statistical techniques and produced inaccurate results. In my opinion, they erred particularly in the equations that serve as a foundation for the estimate of increased injuries supposedly caused by the Scaffold Law. Even the basic hypothesis may be flawed; it proposes that liability for injuries associated with the law ‘blunts employer incentives to invest in worker safety.’ This is counterintuitive. If employers are financially liable for injury and death, would they not be more likely to invest in safety?”

-Professor Richard Hurd, Cornell University School of Industrial & Labor Relations

Click here to read Professor Hurd’s full analysis in the Insurance Journal of the flawed Rockefeller Institute study attacking the Scaffold Safety Law.