The federal government says that the hazards of falling are the biggest safety problem at New York City construction sites after random inspections during a two-week enhanced enforcement effort this past summer. As part of its New York City construction safety task force, OSHA detailed 12 inspectors to conduct 96 safety inspections at 46 construction sites throughout the city from June 23 to July 3. The sites were randomly selected to encompass a cross-section of high-risk construction activities including tower cranes, high-rise construction, poured-in-place concrete operations, steel erection, gut-rehab and other high-risk construction activities.
Citations were issued to 60 contractors for 129 violations with a total of $247,400 in proposed fines after inspecting 46 sites in June and July. The major categories of violations cited included fall hazards (39 – nearly a third of the violations), electrical safety (29), scaffolds (17), cranes and rigging (13), welding/gas (10) and 20 other categories covering personal protective equipment, tools, material handling, concrete, hoists, stairs and ladders.
According to an OSHA press release, the meeting and the task force are among several OSHA efforts planned or underway to enhance construction safety in the city. These include an ongoing cross-training alliance with the New York City Department of Buildings and sending copies of citations to project owners, developers, employers’ insurers, workers’ compensation carriers and union training funds to raise awareness of occupational hazards found on city job sites.
In addition, OSHA will conduct a second round of concentrated construction inspections in the future.
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