Endorsement for the Rise of Construction Safety and Extensive Improvements

The New York City Council has passed five new construction safety bills and an extensive improvement to NYC’s Construction Codes has declared by The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB).

To provide a shield to the general public and construction employees they recently implemented code updates and safety standards to work together.

Legislation on Construction Safety

Because of DOB’s efforts, from 2018 to 2020, accidents on building construction sites in New York City decreased by 34%, which included the introduction of a first-of-its-kind construction safety training requirement.

According to these new bills, it was required that the NYC general contractors should be licensed to minimize the risk of accidents. Moreover, to require more site safety monitoring at larger work sites, the unsafe use of stand-off brackets for suspended scaffold work has been prohibited. It also tightens cold-formed steel construction standards. 

The following are the five proposed building protection bills:

1) Introduction 2278: General Contractor Licensing

According to first building protection bills all NYC general contractors have to show their qualifications and must be approved by the Department of Buildings (DOB). They are also bound to include practical experience working in the construction industry. They must also undergo site safety training and be responsible for the work they do under their permits.

Department of Buildings, if mandatory is allowed to take disciplinary measures against general contractors, including removing or revoking their licences.

2) Intro. 2263: With 7-9 stories, safety professionals on major construction sites are require DOB-licensed

Reduces the number of stories above which full-time DOB-licensed Site Safety Coordinators (SSCs) or Site Safety Managers (SSMs) are needed to seven.

Before construction on major projects in the seven to nine storey ranges can begin, contractors must send Site Safety Plans to the Department of Buildings for review and approval.

3) Intro 2276: On major sites, having a height of seven stories or more, DOB-license is required for construction superintendents

For site safety and other projects of management, on large construction projects having a height of seven floors or more, full-time work will be expected alongside SSCs or SSMs by DOB-Licensed Construction Superintendents.

All non-major construction projects for which a Construction Superintendent may be assigned limits the numbers of these projects, with the intention of providing a dedicated Construction Superintendent on all required projects by 2026 for non-major construction.

4) 2262: Prohibition of Stand-Off Brackets

By making the ban on the use of stand-off brackets for C-hook suspended scaffold installations permanent, it builds on a DOB Buildings Bulletin published in 2019.

5) Introduction 2264: Cold-Formed Steel Construction Ssolidification Requirements

Builds on the Department of Buildings’ 2019 Buildings Bulletin, which established new safety standards for special inspectors, construction superintendents, design professionals, and permit holders working on cold-formed steel light-frame construction in New York City.

Designed to avoid accidents, deaths, and property damage at construction sites in New York City by avoiding overloading and excessive installation of cold-formed steel.

Changes to the Building Code

The projected amendments to the existing Administrative, Plumbing, Building, Mechanical, and Fuel Gas Codes would be the first substantive changes to the current codes since 2014. Engineers, architects, lawyers, planners, tradespeople, building industry members, labour, real estate industry representatives, utility firms, as well as New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) and interagency stakeholders, drafted the revisions. There were 627 new or expanded amendments to existing codes proposed, as well as thousands of minor improvements. The committee revisions have been inspired by improved public safety standards and technical advancements since the last revision period. If passed, they will take effect the next year.