Times Union: LETTERS: Scaffold Law not linked to schools

New Yorkers should give an “F” to the argument that the newly approved $2 billion “Smart Schools Bond Act” will see much of the money “wasted” due to the state’s construction safety law.

There is no evidence that the Scaffold Law – an important law to keep workers who do some of the most dangerous work in the state safe – has any impact on school construction. The New York City School Construction Authority hasn’t released any data on Scaffold Law cases, and, without that data, it’s impossible to understand what’s really going on with its insurance.

All the Scaffold Safety Law says is that, if a contractor fails to follow safety requirements for work done at a height, like ensuring that the appropriate safety equipment is on site, then that contractor is responsible for any injuries that happen as a result.

This makes perfect sense; it’s the contractor who can make sure the equipment is there and in good working order. Workers who show up to a dangerous worksite ought to know their safety is going to be protected.

New Yorkers should expect Albany to understand school improvement monies and worker safety can exist side-by-side and reject arguments that to do so would be a “waste.”

Blair Horner

Albany

New York Public Interest Research Group

Click here to read the letter in the Albany Times Union.