AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin City Council will be weighing whether to tie access to a faster permitting process to building and labor standards for large-scale commercial projects in the city.

Felix Jimenez says in his 16 years working on Austin construction sites, he’s seen dangerous conditions such as failures to check equipment or make sure someone has the right experience for a job.

“I have had friends who have unfortunately died and it is very sad watching what becomes a reality for their families,” said Jimenez.

Jimenez is also a member of the Workers Defense Project. The organization runs the Better Builders program. Right now, that program requires contractors who sign up to pay workers at least $13.50 per hour. It also has a local hiring goal and on-site monitoring of regulations, among other components.

A new resolution will go in front of Austin City Council next week. It proposes requiring large-scale commercial projects to work with the Better Builder program or get a similar certification, if they want the fast-pass through Austin’s permitting process.

“In my experience, the large commercial construction sites is where you find the best trained and most sophisticated work forces and the most attention to safety,” said Phil Thoden, president and CEO of Associated General Contractors of America.

Thoden questions why the proposed standards for expedited permits target only large jobs. He says while there are accidents, contractors are putting a focus on safety in Texas.

The resolution in front of council would start the process to change city code. If it passes, it would still be weeks before an ordinance goes in front of council.