The Washington Post: Tear Down N.Y.’S ‘Scaffold Law’ To Rebuild Infrastructure

“A battle to repeal an obscure New York law protecting construction workers appears to be gaining momentum, with backers saying the 19th-century measure is typical of the reasons it’s so difficult and costly to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.

Tom Stebbins, executive director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, cites a Cornell University study by Prof R. Richard Geddes and others that concluded that the law reduces worker safety. Stebbins argued that this may occur because, if companies can be held liable for an accident no matter what, they have little incentive to go all out on providing safeguards at the job site. Construction workers also have less incentive to follow safety measures themselves, he said.”

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