Re: Michael Gormley’s article (Scaffold Law, September 5, 2013) the author does not realize the risks and dangers faced by construction workers who work at heights, often extreme heights, where an accident means permanent disability or death. In 2008, nineteen deaths of construction workers were reported with many more workers seriously injured. To weaken the law as the author suggests invites more death and injury to workers. The facts are that our Scaffold Law only applies to construction activities and provides that those in the best position to enforce proper safety procedures – the owners and general contractors – are held strictly liable for injuries resulting from the failure to provide safety equipment and training. Therefore, when a safety device, such a ladder or hoist, fails to do its job, the construction worker injured receives the special protection of the law. The Labor Laws were passed to promote safety in this hazardous and dangerous field. Our legislature recognized that many deaths and injuries associated with working at elevated construction sites could be avoided by merely requiring that site owners and contractors provide vital safety equipment to properly protect the workers.
The solution to bring down insurance premiums is not to weaken worker safety laws, it is for owners and contractors to ensure that proper safety procedures and equipment are uses at construction sites to reduce injuries.
Michael J. Asta
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