VICTORY! CPD Helps Save Scaffold Law for Workers

The Center for Popular Democracy has partnered with Make the Road New York and theBuild Up NYC coalition to protect worker safety as industry executives and lobbyists have sought to gut the Scaffold Safety Law, a crucial protection for vulnerable construction workers. And our efforts have been fruitful: Governor Cuomo recently announced that the scaffold law will survive industry attacks this legislative session.

For years, real estate developers and construction executives have sought to the gut the law, which holds employers liable for worker injuries from falls. This year, they even paid for an $82,000 "study" to argue that the safety law was ineffective, which our research quickly debunked, leading to the State University of New York to distance itself from the industry-funded report. 

Our report, "Fatally Flawed," written in partnership with the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, played a key role in debunking the industry's argument and exposing a front group working on behalf of developers and executives. In addition to our research, CPD played a front-line role in the campaign to protect the Scaffold Safety Law.  With our partners at Make the Road New York and the Build Up NYC coalition, we coordinated a protest at a luxury residential real estate development that hires non-union labor and does not take precautions to ensure worker safety.

In the past month, two workers have been hurt at the Starwood/JDS construction site in New York City. The building is being renovated to become a luxury condo with units selling for between $1.5- 9 million each. With developers pouring tens of millions of dollars into the building, we stood with community members and leaders to demand JDS invests in creating a safe construction site.

Construction workers’ safety should be improved by protecting and enforcing the New York State Scaffold Law, which requires owners and contractors to provide appropriate and necessary equipment, such as safe hoists, ladders, and scaffolds. The law holds owners and contractors fully liable if their failure to follow the law causes a worker to be injured or killed.

CPD thanks all of our partners who helped make this victory possible, and we will continue to protect workers from industry bad actors who seek to gut safety laws.

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