Maryland lawmakers want contractors to submit safety plans for state projects
Annapolis, MD – Legislation introduced in Maryland would require prospective bidders for publicly funded construction projects to meet specified worker safety and health standards.
Contractors would have to submit a safety and health plan as part of the state’s bidding process, according to House Bill No. 404 and Senate Bill No. 279. The House of Delegates is scheduled to debate H.B. 404 at a Feb. 24 hearing, and the state Senate is slated to debate S.B. 279 two days later.
Watchdog group Public Citizen recently praised both bills as measures that would help protect workers. Both bills were introduced after a state-sanctioned workgroup recommended that lawmakers do more to protect construction workers on public projects that cost more than $100,000.
Maryland’s screening process analyzes companies for past performance, legal proceedings and other factors. However, state officials do not weigh a company’s safety records, training programs or site safety plan before awarding public works projects.
“Taxpayer dollars should go only to contractors who safeguard their employees from dangerous work conditions,” Maryland state Sen. Karen Montgomery (D), who introduced S.B. 279, said in a press release.