(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Raj Mukherji and Wayne DeAngelo to create an independent panel within the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to assess current conditions and recommend improvements of workplace safety and health polices in the state’s construction industry was released earlier this week by an Assembly panel.
“Construction work can be extremely dangerous work under improper conditions and without the proper policies in place to protect workers,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “The task force will help the state to focus its efforts on ensuring safe and fair conditions for all in the construction industry.”
“Research and education often leads to meaningful policies,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “And, in this case, a task force can help us to ensure that the right policies are in place to protect everyone who works in the construction industry, whenever they work.”
The measure (A-3416) directs the task force to study and assess the impact of workplace safety and health policies and practices in the construction industry, and make recommendations for methods of improving safety and health in the industry. The bill specifies that particular attention be given to the option of establishing safety and health prequalification requirements for contractors bidding on public works contracts.
“Work in the construction industry fluctuates depending on the job and the season,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “Whether its temporary or full-time work, every individual should have certain health and workplace safeguards in place to protect their interests while working in construction.”
As provided by the bill, the task force will consist of the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development and eleven members appointed by the Governor including one person nominated by each of the following organizations: the Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey; the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association of New Jersey; the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council; the Associated Builders and Contractors of New Jersey; the Mechanical Contractors Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Citizen Action; the New Jersey Electrical Contractors Association; the New Jersey Builders Association; the New Jersey Subcontractors Association; the New Jersey Work Environment Council; and a New Jersey representative of the National Electrical Contractors Association.
The task force is also directed under the bill to submit a written report of findings and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature within 12 months after the effective date of the bill.
The measure was released on Oct. 27 by the Assembly Labor Committee.