Legislative Gazette: Scaffold Law advocates: ‘Let the sunshine in’

A union-backed coalition is fighting to keep New York’s controversial Scaffold Law intact while passing new regulations requiring insurance companies to disclose claims data related to construction accidents.

Representatives of the Scaffold Safety Coalition were joined at the Legislative Office Building last week by Assemblyman Francisco Moya, D-Queens, and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, D-Bronx, in support of the Scaffold Safety Law and the proposed “Sunshine Bill” (A.4718/S.3392) that would enact the Construction Insurance Transparency Act of 2015.

Many supporters of the Scaffold Law say it protects workers injured on construction sites while critics of the law say its existence raises the cost of business insurance in New York state and unfairly punishes contractors and construction companies. A long-standing argument against the Scaffold Law is that it raises insurance rates in New York. Moya and Crespo are challenging those claims by forcing insurance companies to release claims data.

The Sunshine Bill would require liability insurance providers to file financial statements and claims data with the state’s superintendant of financial services.

“We need to do everything we can to strengthen our workplace safety law and not weaken the ones that we already have,” Moya said. “In the absence of real enforcement, we need something to keep the bad actors in line and for years, the scaffold law has done just that.”

Click here to read the full story in the Legislative Gazette.