Times Union Editorial: Scaffold law N.Y.’s business

The Albany Times Union published an editorial on Sunday February 4, 2018 that urged the New York state legislature to reevaluate the Scaffold Law. Unfortunately, the editorial did not support Rep. Faso’s attempt to push the issue in Congress:

[I]n one rough indicator of the law’s effectiveness — the rate of fatal falls in the construction industry — federal data shows New York is roughly in the middle of the nation. One would expect a much better safety record in a state where employer liability for such accidents is absolute. It at least raises the question of whether the premium New Yorkers are paying for construction and public works projects as a result of the Scaffold Law is making construction work any safer.

After more than a century, the Scaffold Law is overdue for a comprehensive, unbiased review by the Legislature. One option would be to put a moratorium on it for a sufficient number of years to gather adequate data on real-world results. Any analysis should look especially at whether there is any increase or decrease in falls, any public savings, any decrease in insurance costs, and whether contractors and their lawyers benefit at the expense of injured workers.

What this needs is a serious review by New York lawmakers. What it doesn’t need is a partisan vote by a Congress that can barely mind its own business.

Read the full editorial here.

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