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Scaffold Law helps to keep workers safe

I was working as a roofer in Erie County when one side of the scaffold I was on slipped out from under me. I landed hard on the ground, and suffered herniated discs in my lower back and neck. Today, I have trouble lifting and bending, and I can’t even cut the grass or walk for extended periods of time.

Accidents like mine are sadly quite common. But in New York, the Scaffold Law says that when a construction worker is injured because the contractor or owner ignored basic safety laws, that contractor or owner can be held responsible. In my case, I wasn’t given any fall protection, netting or harness. The law requires these safety precautions, and if they had been in place, I would not have been injured.

Instead of improving safety on their sites, construction companies and their insurance allies are lobbying Albany to weaken the Scaffold Law so it’s easier for them to get away with cutting corners on safety.

My days installing roofs are over, but thousands of New Yorkers risk their lives every day to build this state. They deserve strong laws to keep them safe.

Wayne Boivin

West Valley