Federal Laws and Regulations Underutilized to Protect Workers’ Safety at Construction Sites

The weakness of current federal laws dedicated to protecting workers safety has been criticized twice in less than a month on the op-ed page of The New York Times in the aftermath of crane collapses that occurred in Manhattan on March 15 and May 30, 2008. On May 27, 2008, David M. Uhlmann, a law professor at the University of Michigan, wrote an article pressing for giving the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the primary federal worker-safety law in the United States, more powerful, even criminal, enforcement penalties.

On June 12, 2008, Susan Podziba, a public policy mediator, … Read the rest

Scaffold Accident at the former Deutsche Bank Building in NYC Comes Just Days After Fatal Fire

Two firefighters were injured Thursday, August 23rd, 2007, when a forklift fell from scaffolding and crashed into a shed at the former Deutsche Bank building in Manhattan. Both firefighters were taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital. Sources said both of the firefighters sustained serious head injuries.

Fire officials said a tool fell off the scaffold and landed atop a sidewalk shed that the firefighters were standing under. The force of the impact caused a helmet one of the firefighters was wearing to crack. The fire department said that a construction worker entered an elevator at the work site at about 2 … Read the rest