New York City Buildings Commissioner Robert D. LiMandri

NYC Lays Out 'New Safety Professional' Vision

Tomorrow's all-day conference by the New York City Department of Buildings is a major affair introducing the department's "new vision" and its "new safety professional" concept. Taking place from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the McGraw-Hill Conference Center, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, this event is focused on managing risks in high-risk construction -- specifically cranes, excavations, and concrete. The New York City Council passed the final two planks of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 12-point construction safety agenda last week, and Robert D. LiMandri, commissioner of the Buildings Department since Oct. 8, 2008, will no doubt lay out the new vision in scheduled opening remarks tomorrow at 8:15 a.m.

The program includes a special session for site safety managers, coordinators, and site supervisors from noon to 3:30 p.m. LiMandri also will open this session, which will cover qualifying and maintaining a Site Safety license, four breakout sessions, and the department's expectations for Site Safety Plans and its inspections approach.

The morning program also includes breakout sessions about each of the high-risk construction activities and best practices presentations from construction professionals.

LiMandri, who was acting commissioner prior to his appointment by the mayor, took the job focused on raising construction safety standards and improving the department's enforcement efforts after a Manhattan tower crane collapse exposed shortcomings in both.

Bloomberg thanked the City Council, the department, and the construction industry last week for working together to pass Introductory Numbers 760 and 878. "Last June, along with Speaker Quinn, Buildings Commissioner LiMandri, and leaders in the construction industry, I announced a 12-point legislative package to dramatically increase safety on construction sites across the five boroughs, Bloomberg said. "The passage of these two critical bills completes that important agenda. Introductory Number 760 will authorize the department to assign a safety compliance officer - at the owner's expense - to construction sites with poor safety records. And Introductory Number 878 will require contractors carrying out major construction, demolition, and concrete work to get a safety registration number from the department in order to perform work in New York City. This tool will give the department an unprecedented ability to track contractors across construction sites and get a true picture of who has the best safety records and who must be held accountable for unsafe jobs that endanger workers and the public. I commend the council and the industry for their leadership and look forward to signing these two bills into law."

  • All high-rise construction sites must inspect vertical netting, provide adequate sidewalk protection, ensure suitable housekeeping, and maintain site safety and permit logs.
  • A concrete safety manager must be designated on all "major buildings" (as defined by Local Law 40 of 2008) during the concrete portion of the project. Registration will not be required until July 1, 2009.
  • A new boiler annual inspection cycle began.
  • Master and Special Rigger, Master and Special Sign Hanger, and Tower Crane Rigger licenses will be extended to three-year terms.
  • A new inspection and filing process must be followed for elevator inspections.

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