Fighting for Workers Safety

ALBANY – Capital Region residents overwhelmingly say they’ll need increased safety measures against the novel coronavirus before feeling safe at work again, according to a new Times Union-Siena College Research Institute poll.

The poll found that on a bipartisan basis, residents want employers to provide masks, sanitized workplaces and personal protective equipment at work. But they also indicated they want larger public health measures that aren't available right now as well, such as widespread diagnostic and antibody testing as well as a treatment for COVID-19 or a vaccine.

Sergio Adams, a construction consultant with the state Office of General Services said in the early weeks of the pandemic, his office has received mixed messages on public health guidelines like wearing a mask at work and once they became required in the office, had to provide that equipment themselves.

"It left a lot of people in the dark," he said. "To be honest, it's tough. I have a kid at home and during this time child care is especially expensive. A lot of that money is going toward child care."

Adams said when the office begins to fully reopen, he hopes there are clearer lines of communication on expectations for employees and the steps that being taken to keep them safe.

"If they're able to get the correct information out to people, it will help ease their minds," he said.

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