January 25, 2019

NYC’s New Construction Safety Laws: How They Impact You

If you’re not a builder, a general contractor, or otherwise involved in the construction trade, you might not be aware of New York City’s new construction safety rules. But if you’re a property owner, developer, or project manager,

Why Does NYC Need More Construction Safety Rules?

New York City is famous for having the most stringent safety regulations in the nation. However, the rules that were in place did nothing to stop a string of high-profile construction accidents, many of which unfortunately involved fatalities.

Analysis of these incidents revealed that many of them were preventable. The key to preventing workplace accidents is training. It was decided that workers must have at least 40 hours of safety training. People who have completed a training program or apprenticeship that is at least 100 hours are exempt from this requirement.  This standard is far in excess of nationwide safety standards.

Additional Safety Requirements You Should Know About

All personnel must be trained. and documentation of this training must be maintained and readily available for any DOB inspector who wants to look at it. Additionally, under the new regulations, a DOB licensed site safety coordinator must be on site of any builds between 10-14 stories. For builds in excess of 15 stories or 100,000 sq. feet, a site safety manager is required.

The Impact New NYC Construction Rules Can Have on Your Job Site

When these rules were being discussed, there was a lot of concern that construction projects throughout the city might be delayed due to a lack of properly qualified workers. It’s premature to comment on this concern. However, it’s worthy of note that there have been no reports of delays thus far. Additionally, workers are highly motivated to be able to continue working.

What happens if anyone working on your job site isn’t trained to the new standard? This is the larger concern for property owners, developers, and project managers. DOB inspectors can show up any time. If they don’t find the documentation they’re looking for, they won’t hesitate to shut your job site down. Stop work orders are extremely expensive. Fines can be many thousands of dollars per non-qualified employee. These are fines that you, as the property owner, developer, or project manager, are liable for.

We talk about how to avoid stop work orders here. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help!

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