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Letter: Scaffold law still much needed

A construction worker carries scaffolding poles for work

A construction worker carries scaffolding poles for work on a new single family home in Aldie, Va. Spending on U.S. construction projects rose in July, led by strong gains in housing and nonresidential projects. (Aug. 7, 2013) Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

In 2009, I was working on a construction site in Port Washington when I fell four stories, head first, off the side of the building.

I wasn't given a safety belt, and there was no safety net, no perimeter protection, nothing. On top of that, the steel beam I'd been told to work on wasn't properly constructed. After a coma, two hospital stays, five years and countless surgeries, I'm alive. But even today, I can't use my right hand and can't do simple things by myself, like button my shirt or pants. I still consider myself lucky to be alive and not permanently brain-damaged or in a wheelchair.

Accidents like mine are why the state's scaffold law is so important. The law holds contractors and developers accountable for injuries when they don't provide safety equipment or training. This is especially important because construction is one of the most dangerous jobs.

Albany lawmakers were right to decline to weaken the scaffold law, as big business lobbyists wanted again this year.

Brian Pickering, Oceanside


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