New York Daily News columnist Bill Hammond says the case for reforming New York’s so-called Scaffold Law has never been stronger than right now.
Hammond cites sky rocketing liability insurance premiums for contractors —fueled by the law — that threaten to slow the entire industry to a crawl and a new study that finds the law actually contributes to higher accident rates on construction projects.
Hammond writes, “Cornell economist Rick Geddes, a public policy professor and coauthor of the study, calculates that workplaces covered by the Scaffold Law see an extra 5.5 accidents per 1,000 employees.
“Even more devastating was the outcome of a “natural experiment” in Illinois — another big state with a lot of high-rise construction that repealed its version of the scaffold law in 1995.
“Accident rates have fallen in both states in the period since. But before repeal, Illinois had a worse track record than New York. Since repeal, its worksites have become significantly safer than ours.”
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