Construction safety training bill likely to pass City Council

Updated version of the formerly controversial measure now has 29 sponsors
April 12, 2017 04:00PM

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A bill requiring on-site construction workers to undergo mandatory safety training now has sufficient votes to pass the City Council.

New York City construction unions have now garnered support from 29 Council member sponsors for the bill, Crain’s reported. This updated version of the City Council’s training bill, which is aimed at reducing fatalities in the industry, will not force workers to attend state-approved apprenticeship programs, sources told the publication.

The primary sponsors of the bill are Jumaane Williams and Carlos Menchaca.

Pat Purcell, the Greater New York Laborers & Employers Cooperation & Education Trust’s executive director, said the proposed law would improve safety for workers across the industry.

“The Council members who are not sponsoring this bill are turning a blind eye to an industry that experienced 31 deaths over the past two years,” he said, according to Crain’s. “We will continue to educate council members who are not on the bill and debunk the misinformation touted by special interests opposed to increased safety standards.”

Unions and nonunions have sparred over proposed new safety regulations. The suggestion of mandating apprenticeships was particularly contentious. While supporters argued it would improve worksite safety, critics said it was a deceptive way of enforcing union labor.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, typically a union supporter, refused to back any laws mandating apprenticeship programs.  [Crain’s]Miriam Hall