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More safety training might lessen construction workers' accidents

The New York City Buildings Commissioner recently announced new requirements for the number of hours construction workers must spend in safety training. He says most construction workers' accidents are preventable, and the fact that so many injuries and deaths continue to occur underscores the need for additional safety training. Reportedly, changes will become effective in stages over more than two years.

The new regulations will apply to construction workers on building sites where site-safety managers, site-safety coordinators and construction superintendents are required by the Department of Buildings. The current safety training requirements of 10 hours for workers will be increased to 30 hours by December and 40 hours by May next year. Supervisors will need 62 hours of safety training.

The commissioner said the training opportunities would be flexible. An example is 30 hours of OSHA-approved safety training along with fall prevention training for eight hours and drug and alcohol awareness training for another two hours. This will give a worker the required 40 hours of safety training, along with a better chance of returning home safely after every shift on the building site.

While these new measures might lessen construction workers' accidents, injuries will likely continue to occur. The New York workers' compensation insurance program will continue to assist injured workers financially. Benefits can be claimed to cover medical expenses and lost income, and when debilitating injuries are suffered, an experienced workers' compensation attorney can help to pursue additional benefits. When lives are lost on construction sites, surviving family members may be entitled to claim death benefits that will cover funeral and burial costs and lost wages.

Source: ohsonline.com, "NYC to Increase Safety Training Requirements for Construction Workers", May 18, 2018

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