Faso scaffold bill clears a committee
Feb 01, 2018 3:37 pm
Chris McKenna reports at The Fray that New York's 133-year-old Scaffold Law cleared the U.S. House of Representatives House Judiciary Committee Jan. 30 16-14 on party lines. The bill, put forth by Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook), would ban federal funding to construction projects that use New York’s “absolute liability” standard for workplace injuries caused by falls. Faso’s “Infrastructure Expansion Act” takes lawmaking out of the hands of New York legislators and next sends it to the House floor for a vote. So far, no Senator has stepped up to sponsor the bill, so it may stall there. The New York law was passed in the 1880s, when the first skyscraper buildings were going up in New York City, and required employers to ensure their workers’ safety from gravity-related falls. Contractors and business groups say it increases costs at construction costs by making employers liable if they fail to provide a safe work environment. Republican Ted Poe of Texas, said during debate on the measure, “This is not our issue.... It’s a state issue. I don’t think Congress ought to be involved in this at all.” Faso disagreed, writing to the committee that, “New York’s Scaffold Law is a regulation for the sake of regulation.... It provides no measurable safety improvements and costs our state dearly.” Read the full story in The Fray.