Today's News

Northeast lawmakers criminalizing violations (11/20)

In the wake of the April 2006 collapse of a scaffold in downtown Boston, Mass., lawmakers are proposing jail time for companies that dismiss monetary sanctions for worksite safety violations. Meanwhile, the New York City Council has given its Department of Buildings the ability to criminally prosecute rogue developers for ignoring work orders and permits.

The Boston disaster, which killed two construction workers and a passing motorist, wrought $119,000 in OSHA fines, but under the new rules, managers of the company involved, Boston Masonry, would have faced up to 2-1/2 years in prison. Committee Chair State Senator Jarrett T. Barrios told the Boston Globe that construction firms view OSHA fines as part of the cost of doing business. "But criminal prosecutions will get their attention where monetary fines can't," Barrios told the paper.

In New York, the City Council passed two measures Wednesday to crack down on contractors who violate stop-work orders and who tear down homes without demolition permits. The legislation criminalizes both infractions – any violator can now be charged with a misdemeanor and serve a maximum of six months in jail. Penalties and fines for both also will be raised sharply.

Builders who shun a stop-work order will face a maximum fine of $15,000 and civil penalties that begin at $2,000 for the first penalty, $5,000 for the second and $10,000 for the third. Previously, the companies faced a $500 civil penalty and fines of a few hundred dollars. "Both of these will be very important tools to protect workers on the job and also to allow neighborhood residents and community organizations the extra tools they need to protect and preserve their neighborhoods,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan). Industry groups, however, expressed concern that stop-orders can be issued too liberally, and that harsh penalties would make more sense if the criteria for issuing one were more rigorous.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

3/31/15 11:00 am EST

Changes to NFPA 70E® – What You Need to Know

NFPA ® for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is revised every three years, providing the most up-to-date requirements for safe work practices to reduce exposure to electrical hazards. This program analyzes several significant changes in 70E ® and is designed to clarify the reasoning behind the changes, and assist in determining how the changes impact employees and employers.

ISHN Magazine


2015 March

Check out ISHN's March issue, which features articles about moisture wicking technology, toxic gas detection and fall protection.

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2015



For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. 



Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.