A new workplace fatalities registry bill has taken effect in New York, which will require stakeholders to promptly report construction worker fatalities. Supporters hope the new law will help promote safety by creating a centralized database that can help people more easily detect trends and patterns that lawmakers can use to create new safety standards. The law expands the definition of workers and puts more responsibility on contractors for their safety and reporting requirements. By collecting accurate data regarding all constructor worker deaths that occur in the workplace and demographic data on the victims, lawmakers will have greater insight into workplace safety and the ongoing needs of construction workers.
What Is Senate Bill S1302?
New York Senate Bill S1302 is a law that was recently signed into law that requires coroners and medical examiners to timely report the death of construction workers. Democratic State Senator Jessica Ramos introduced the bill to create a centralized record of construction worker deaths and to help identify dangerous working conditions in New York.
Under the new law, coroners and medical examiners must report construction worker deaths within 72 hours to New York State’s Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL is then responsible for gathering additional information from contractors about the precipitating events of the workplace accident and information about the worker, including their age, ethnicity, nationality, immigration status, trade, and union status. The DOL can also request if any charges were filed in relation to the death.
The information will be included in a centralized database that is available to the public. The bill’s supporters hope this will help improve construction safety regulations and decrease on-the-job construction deaths. People will also be able to see a contractor’s safety performance when determining whether to hire them.
Contractors who do not provide the requested information within 90 days can face fines of $1,000 to $2,500 per occurrence.
The new law complements a renewed push for safety in the construction industry by New York City. The Department of Buildings announced its intention to inspect more than 1,100 buildings that have façade repair work permits in an effort to prevent scaffolding accidents.
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