"Construction Safety Course Accountability Act"
The "Construction Safety Course Accountability Act" (A.10062) sponsored by Assemblyman Lancman authorizes the Department of Labor to license any organization in New York State which offers the "OSHA 10" construction safety course, to maintain a reliable database of individuals who have completed the course.
New York State law requires workers on certain construction projects to complete the "OSHA 10" course, and New York City has a similar regulation. However, there is currently no centralized state agency keeping track of who is teaching the course and who is being giving "OSHA 10" cards for having taken the course. This makes it easy for shady businesses to cut corners in offering the course and distributing completion cards, and difficult for employers and safety enforcement agencies to establish the validity of cards purporting to indicate that an individual has successfully finished the course. News reports have shown significant instances of fraud in the administration of "OSHA 10" courses.
Assemblyman Lancman Briefs New York City Central
Labor Council On Subcommittee Agenda
Assemblyman Lancman met with the New York City Central Labor Council to discuss the Subcommittee's agenda and solicit input on workplace safety issues in New York. The Assemblyman mentioned the Subcommittee's efforts to increase accountability in safety training in the construction industry, to reconfigure the State Health Review and Planning Council to include labor and consumer representation, and to survey public workplaces throughout the state to determine whether or not they are complying with the New York State Public Employer Workplace Violence Prevention Law.
17 Year Old "Dunkin' Donuts" Worker Dies
on the Job by Falling into Sewage Cesspool
Dunkin' Donuts employee Amiri Zeqiri from Smithtown, New York fell into an open cesspool while carrying trash out of the store. Zeqiri's younger cousin who also worked at Dunkin' Donuts was the first to notice that he had fallen into the hole and he called for help. Unfortunately, by the time officers from the Suffolk County Police Department's Emergency Services Section lifted the boy from the cesspool and took him to a hospital, he was pronounced dead.
The New York State Young Worker Safety Taskforce is currently developing a New York adapted online training program called "Passport to Safety" which is already used in several countries including Canada and Australia, to educate minors of their rights on the job, including their right to a safe and healthful workplace and to train young people on how to stay safe on the job. The goal of the program is to "help eliminate needless injuries and preventable deaths of New York's working youth."
Former NYC Chief Crane Inspector Convicted for Putting Greed Before Safety
James Delayo, a former Chief Crane Inspector for New York City's Department of Buildings, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from Nu-Way Crane Service, in exchange for certifying cranes that were not inspected and issuing crane operator licenses to individuals who did not meet qualifications. Mr. Delayo will be sentenced on May 4, 2010 to two six year prison terms.
Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus R. Vance said in a statement: "The defendant's willful disregard for the safety of this equipment and the skill of crane operators endangered the lives of Manhattan's residents, visitors and construction workers."
Nu-Way crane operators falsely certified by Mr. Delayo are also under indictment.
Employers that maintain safe work environments for their employees work hard to compete with employers who cut corners and avoid safety procedures. This conviction should send a message to corrupt inspectors and businesses out there: in the end, greed does not pay.
CDSA and OSHA Work Together to Release Best Practices in Electrical Safety
The Concrete Sawing & Drilling Association (CSDA) and OSHA together released an Electrical Safety best practice guide. According to the CSDA Executive Director Patrick O'Brien, "Electrocution is a major focus for OSHA as it is one of the top four leading causes of construction fatalities, and therefore a natural area of focus for our alliance."
Working with electricity can expose employees to electric shock, burns, fires and explosions. Such work can be especially dangerous because electrical energy often cannot be sensed until contact is made. The Electrical Safety Best Practice includes guidelines and preventive maintenance tips that should be used every workday.