In 2018, ABC News reported that the New York City construction training was far too easy to cheat. To combat the ongoing problem of construction site fatalities, the city made 10 to 30 hours of safety training mandatory for construction workers. Laws stipulated that the training should be monitored to ensure workers do not cheat. However, the website-served training was often not monitored at all. In fact, people were able to get an OSHA certification for Fred Flintstone the cartoon character just to prove a point.
Less than a year later, CBS reported that construction had become New York City’s deadliest occupation. And, even worse, construction accidents and the resulting deaths and injuries are all on the rise. City data shows that injuries are up by 221% compared to five years ago, while construction work fatalities increased by 33% during the same period. This further begs the question of whether or not the safety training is at all effective for preventing construction work accidents, especially those that lead to disability or death.
The city’s response? They plan to increase safety training to 40 hours by 2020. In addition to this, 90 inspectors have been working 12-hour shifts to inspect active construction sites around the Big Apple. However, the inspectors are not checking the actual work site for violations or safety hazards. Instead, their job is to check that workers have valid training cards.
Needless to say, victims and their families believe that more needs to be done. Even when victims adhere to all safety measures in place, if their colleagues do not follow through, they may become the casualty of someone else’s lax approach to safety regulations. CBS’s news article did not specify whether or not New York City had improved monitoring of the safety training, but it does illustrate that current measures are not effective.