For Immediate Release: January 20, 2016
Contact: Monica Novoa
Communications Director, NYCOSH
Cell: (929) 366-5320
New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health
Slams New York State Business Council’s 2016 Advocacy Priorities
Calls Proposal to Gut Workers’ Comp System “Inhumane”; Scaffold Safety Reforms “Ill-Advised”
New York, NY—The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) criticized the newly released New York State Business Council’s 2016 Advocacy Priorities, which include undermining both the Scaffold Safety Law and the Workers’ Compensation system. The Business Council’s prioritizes a number of changes aimed at slashing the costs to businesses, while increasing dangerous and inhumane conditions for workers. These proposals include:
- Expanding the use of employer-managed care for injured workers
- Drastic new time limits on benefits for New Yorkers who are permanently disabled from work in effort to cut costs, but at the expense of workers’ ability to survive
- Sharply reducing lost wage benefits, and limiting workers access to justice
- Cutting weekly workers’ compensation benefit rates
- Removing the Scaffold Safety Law, designed to protect construction workers in New York State at a time of rapid construction when we need it most
“We are disgusted with the Business Council’s desperate attempt to cut costs for employers at the expense of New Yorkers who happen to get injured on the job. If employers want to cut back on workers’ compensation costs or the cost of insurance, they should focus on creating safer workplaces so people don’t get injured or killed in the first place,” said Lee Clarke, NYCOSH Board Chair.
“Workers’ compensation is a critical component of protecting the injured and disabled in New York State, as is the Scaffold Safety Law,” said NYCOSH Executive Director, Charlene Obernauer, “For the past decade or more, the Business Council has done everything in its power to erode the workers’ compensation system and eliminate critical safety laws. We will continue to fight their unreasonable and inhumane proposals that value profit over lives.”
NYCOSH is a membership organization of workers, unions, community-based organizations, health and legal professionals, and other activists. The mission of NYCOSH is to extend and defend every person’s human right to a safe and healthful work environment.