State Legislature Passes Legislation to Improve Workplace Safety
July 8, 2010
The New York State legislature demonstrated its dedication to improving workplace safety by passing several key pieces of legislation. The “State Workforce Injury Reduction Act,” A.9724/S.7500, which I introduced in the Assembly and Senator Joseph Addabbo introduced in the Senate, passed the legislature this session. This bill ensures that state agencies create workplace injury reduction plans. This legislation will improve safety conditions for over one hundred thousand workers and will save the state millions of dollars in workers’ compensation costs.
The legislature also passed the “Taxi Driver Protection Act,” A.10058/S.7022, which I introduced in the Assembly and Senator Eric Adams introduced in the Senate. The bill increases the penalty for assaulting a taxi cab driver and requires that signs are placed in the back of taxi cabs warning passengers that assaulting a taxi cab driver is punishable by up to twenty-five years in prison. This legislation will protect a vulnerable class of workers from on-the-job assault.
Additionally, the legislature passed A.3103/S.4018, introduced by Assemblyman David Koon and Senator Ruth Hassel-Thompson, which increases the penalty for assaulting a nurse to a felony, and A.9186/S.6079, introduced by Assemblyman Gary Pretlow and Senator Kevin Parker, passed, which would increase the penalty for assaulting a sanitation enforcement agent to a felony. Nurses and sanitation enforcement agents, like taxi cab drivers, are classes of workers that are at high risk of on-the-job assault. This legislation will help create a safer work environment for these workers.
The legislature also passed A.7078/S.8096, introduced by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and Senator Bill Perkins, mandating that masks and gloves are offered to nail salon workers by employers in order to protect workers from harmful chemical exposure. Finally, the legislature passed the "Ambrose-Searles Move Over Act," A.5292/S.4647, introduced by Assemblyman Joseph Morelli and Senator William Stachowski, which requires that operators of motor vehicles exercise due care in order to avoid colliding with parked emergency vehicles.
Passage of the bills listed above conveys the legislature’s commitment to maintaining safe and healthful workplaces.