Rosenthal’s bill, posted on Jan. 11, says:
AN ACT to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the department of buildings keeping records regarding fatal construction accidents The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Section 28-103.21 of the administrative code of the city of 2 New York, as added by local law number 29 of the city of New York for 3 the year 2008, is amended to read as follows: 4 §28-103.21 Incident lists. The commissioner shall post on the depart- 5 ment's website a list of every incident, including those where no 6 violation or threat to public safety existed, that occurred on every 7 construction site within the city of New York that resulted in an injury 8 and/or a fatality, either or both of which were reported to the depart- 9 ment or of which the department otherwise became aware. Such list shall 10 be updated monthly. Such list shall identify the owner and the general 11 contractor of the site where the incident occurred, the nature of the 12 work being performed at the time of the incident, violations issued as a 13 result of the incident, if any, and to whom such violations were issued, 14 and the number of persons injured and/or killed. Such list shall also 15 set forth the total number of injuries and fatalities reported to the 16 department or of which the department otherwise became aware that 17 occurred on construction sites within each borough and within the entire 18 city for each of the previous five calendar years. 19 § 2. Section 28-103.14 of the administrative code of the city of New 20 York, as added by local law number 33 of the city of New York for the 21 year 2007, is amended to read as follows: 22 §28-103.14 Department records. The department shall keep official 23 records of applications received, permits and certificates issued, fees 24 collected, reports of inspections, every incident, including those where EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [
] is old law to be omitted. 1 no violation or threat to public safety existed, that occurred on every 2 construction site within the city of New York that resulted in a fatali- 3 ty, and notices and orders issued. Such records shall be retained in the 4 official records for the period required for retention of public 5 records. 6 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
In 2015, more than a third of deaths counted by the federal government were excluded from the city’s tally, Crain’s New York Business reported.
The Department of Buildings counted 12 construction-related deaths in 2016, the same as in 2015. However, these deaths only relate to threats to public safety or involve violations of the city’s construction code.
Rosenthal said the “ridiculous system” of only tracking certain deaths seemed “like government bureaucracy as justification for inaction.”
“And in this age of transparency it’s unacceptable,” Crain’s quoted her as saying. “It seems almost like willful obfuscation.”
In 2016, the Department of Buildings counted 12 construction-related deaths, the same number as in 2015. But the agency only counts deaths that involve violations of the city’s construction code or threaten public safety. It does not track those that involve workplace safety, which is regulated by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, told Crains’: “This isn’t a statistical game,” he said. “This is life and death.”
Real estate developers represented by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) also agreed with Rosenthal’s position.
“Gathering and analyzing more comprehensive data about construction site accidents is a sensible step toward providing greater safety for construction workers and the public,” said Carl Hum, RENBY’s senior vice president for management services “REBNY appreciates that Assemblymember Rosenthal’s draft legislation goes in that direction.”