Woodside pol introduces worker safety bill

Assemblyman Brian Barnwell
Assemblyman Brian Barnwell

Newly-elected Assemblyman Brian Barnwell from Woodside has hit the ground running in Albany.

Today, he introduced new legislation that would create a safety and apprenticeship program requirement for all construction and demolition work four or more stories, or 40 or more feet throughout the state.

“We have had too many individuals dying on construction projects,” Barnwell said. “Only construction workers with the proper amount of training and qualifications should be allowed to work on certain projects.”

The new bill mandates that only qualified workers who are apprentices, graduated from an apprenticeship program or authorized by the commissioner of labor and who have satisfied safety training requirements are allowed to work on those large projects.

Before any worker is hired on a project with those specifications, proof of qualifications must be provided, according to Barnwell.

If companies violate the bill, the project would be terminated, and the business responsible for illegal hiring would be fined and banned from all future construction and demolition projects four or more stories throughout the state.

“If the amount of construction workers who have died in the last few years were doctors or attorneys, the problem would have been solved via legislation long ago,” Barnwell said. “The time for stricter safety measures is now. No one should ever have to wonder if this is the day that they never come home.”

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