New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Safety in Construction and Public/Private Partnerships

Posted on Oct 15, 2015 in Construction Accidents, Spinal Injuries

A construction project is often a detailed collaboration between numerous parties. That’s part of what makes construction law so complex. A report, “21st Century Construction/20th Century Construction Law” from the New York City Bar Association’s Construction Law Committee discusses some aspects of modern New York law concerning these elaborate arrangements.

To begin, the paper goes over some terms commonly used in discussing construction and traditional methodologies that govern the process of implementing construction projects. After talking about “infrastructure,” which is a word that’s become much more popular in the last few decades, and discussing terms like “public works,” which has been useful in New York construction language, the authors start to talk about how traditional bidding and contracting methodologies may not work as well for the modern marketplace.

The paper also addresses safety, suggesting that the state should give contractors more leeway:

“For the purposes of efficient economic policy and budget objectives, for itself as owner and as the provider of subsidies to other public owners in New York, the State should strive to permit all public owners in New York to have flexibility in deciding, like private owners, what service delivery method is appropriate for their various capital projects…Public owners, like private owners, are concerned with project budget, schedule, safety and quality, a function of value, and should have access to innovative ways to increase the chances of aligning their interests…especially since the construction milieu is the very definition of asymmetric information.”

There’s also this further suggestion that more flexibility can lead to better safety and quality outcomes:

“It is the owner’s ability…that enables a project team to increase its chances of meeting project performance goals of budget, schedule, quality and safety.”

What Does This Mean?

In arguing that the freedom of the market supports better outcomes, the authors seem to say that government involvement can impair safety processes on the job. However, this is by no means the whole story. At the same time, New York government offices work carefully to promote worker safety and protect workers on the job with labor law statutes that require companies to comply with what might be unpopular investments in workplace safety.

That’s what many construction accident injury lawyers see when they evaluate a case. They see either negligence or lack of attention to workplace safety or a kind of mentality that suggests regulations should not be in place. That’s not to say that all companies work this way, but that too often, construction accidents that could have been prevented are allowed to happen because of a less than comprehensive enforcement of safety procedures — a role that’s fit for the government.

Get Help from New York Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

Injured in a New York City area construction or workplace accident? Contact the law offices of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff. Our professional lawyers help construction injury victims and their families (as well as other injured workers) deal with the aftermath of an accident at work. Let us help you access your rights under the law and use your legal options in New York courts.

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