April Brought Us Not Just Showers But Also NYC Buildings Departments Construction Safety Week and the High Risk Construction Oversight Study

Last week was the annual construction safety week. The weeks schedule of events included seminars and events that were free of charge and open to the public. The seminars included: Safety Harness Giveaway & Worker Safety Training; How to Identify and Hire a Licensed Contractor; Homeowners’ Night: Resolving ECB Violations & Illegal Conversions; Construction, Demolition, & Abatement Operations; How to Obtain the New C-Class Hoisting Operators License; High Risk Construction Study: Cranes – Findings & Recommendations; High Risk Construction Study: Excavations – Findings & Recommendations; High Risk Construction Study: Concrete – Findings & Recommendations; Introduction to the New NYC Construction Codes; and Site Safety Plans & Inspections.

The first seminar is interesting in that the first 75 workers to arrive received a free safety harness. Workers falling from construction sites represent the number one cause of construction fatalities in United States. To combat this preventable problem, the Buildings Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will provide a free construction safety training focusing on fall protection and the proper use of safety harnesses.

The seminars involving High Risk Construction Study refer to the High Risk Construction Oversight (HRCO) Study, announced in April of 2008. The purpose of the HRCO is to analyze high-risk construction operations of concrete, cranes / hoists, and excavation.

Over the past six months, a group of highly-specialized engineering experts have been conducting in-depth site inspections of materials, processes, and systems, while also reviewing the Department’s current inspection protocols, to identify any necessary changes to industry practices as well as the Departments oversight of these activities. During this process, the HRCO Engineers have been working with the Department and Industry in developing recommendations to expand the agency’s efforts in making high-risk construction activities safer.

Unfortunately, Construction Safety Week was marred by the collapse on April 30 of part of a vacant five-story building at 71 Reade Street in Manhattan that had recently been cited for loose bricks and cracks. It appeared the front half of the building at 71 Reade St. was sheared off in the collapse, and interior floors were visible from the street. Mounds of bricks were on the ground, and pieces of wood were hanging from what remained of the structure.

On April 10, the city cited the property for having un-repaired cracks on its parapet and window sills. Less than a day before the collapse, violations were issued for loose bricks and cracks.

The personal injury lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims, including for workers injured at construction sites. For 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients.

Contact the personal injury lawyers at Levine & Slavit for their help. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and surrounding areas. To learn more, watch our videos.

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