Painters on The Wave in Wburg paint tethered just to a slim balcony rail. I’m sick.
And she said something. The response was in a follow-up tweet:
I told the man here that they were improperly rigged and needed to be safer, and he responded “I just need a job“
This is life for many people. And this is the reason we need tough laws that hold contractors responsible for putting workers in danger. The workers — often poor, immigrants, and sometimes undocumented — often have little choice. They can do the job or they can go home and never come back. And when you need to eat, that is a tough decision.
Then, if something awful happens, it will be the contractor that will control the construction site and the other employees (witnesses). Who will risk their job to testify that the injured worker was told “Do it or go home?”
It was just this morning that I wrote a piece responding to complaints about our scaffold law, which holds contractors strictly liable for injuries if they fail to provide safety equipment and the accident is height-related. Insurance companies complain to the Legislature that we should instead have comparative fault, and that the contractors should get a chance to lower their liability by blaming the worker (who likely had no choice) and having jury awards reduced by the proportionate share.
But this is living proof why that doesn’t work. You do the job or you go home. And it is the contractor that controls the job site.
Despite the fact the man appears he might be tied to the railing (which is being worked on by a co-worker), it is clear that this would be insufficient to arrest a fall, and doesn’t even come close to OSHA guidelines.
Of course, not all contractors risk the lives of their workers this way. But those that provide proper safety equipment don’t have to worry quite as much about injuries and death, do they?