Work Site Safety Requirements for Construction Activity
The Administrative Code of the City of New York §28-301.1 requires owners to maintain their properties in a safe condition. Property owners, Contractors and Construction Site Managers must minimize the risk of accidents and fire.
Site Safety Regulations
- Tobacco, lighters and matches are prohibited on asbestos abatement sites. Local Law 35/09.
- Approved portable fire extinguishers must be available on floors where combustible materials or liquids are stored, where combustible waste is being generated and at the entrance of each storage and construction shed. NYC Fire Code §1415.1.
- Temporary heating equipment used at construction sites. NYC Fire Code §1403.
- If you have a Fire Department variance to use a coal-fired heater, you must minimize the fire load on concrete construction projects. NYC Building Code §3303.6 and NYC Fire Code §307.2.2.
To apply for a variance, contact the NYC Fire Department’s Bureau of Fire Prevention at (718) 999-2377.
- When work involves relocation or modification of Sprinkler, Standpipes, Fire Protection Systems, etc., Contractor must notify FDNY and obtain approval, if required. NYC Building Code 3303.7 and Building Code 3303.8.
- All shanties and contractor sheds shall be constructed from fire-retardant or non-combustible materials and shall be located in safe area. NYC Building Code §3303.1.3.
Tenant Protection Plan
Construction documents for renovation in a building with one or more dwelling units that will be occupied during construction shall include a Tenant Protection Plan (TPP). The TPP plan shall contain a statement that the building contains dwelling units that will be occupied during construction. The TPP shall also include the specific units that are occupied during construction and the means and methods employed to safeguard the safety and health of the occupants with details such as temporary fire-rated assemblies, opening protectives, or dust containment procedures.
The elements of the TPP shall contain detailed and specific provisions for egress, fire safety, structural safety, health requirements, maintenance of essential services, and demonstrate compliance with housing standards and noise restrictions (AC §28-120.1). In a building with one or more occupied dwelling unit(s), protective means (barricades, signs, drop cloths, etc.) shall be installed and maintained as necessary to provide protection for the occupants against construction hazards and nuisances. Such protective means shall be indicated on the TPP per Building Code section 3303.10. It is important to note that a Tenant Protection Plan required under AC 28-120.1 is different from an Occupant Protection Plan.
Temporary Construction Equipment
Renovation projects such as excavation, demolition and façade repair can require the installation of temporary construction equipment such as sidewalk sheds, fences, scaffolds, material chutes, hoist, etc. This equipment is required to safely move materials associated with the project and protect workers and the public, per AC section 28-105.8 and BC Chapter 33. Also refer to Construction Project Guidelines for Temporary Construction Equipment.
Constructing Safe Shanties
Build shanties or contractor sheds with fire-retardant or non-combustible materials and locate them in safe areas, NYC Building Code §3303.1.3
- Comply with Electrical and Fire Codes and, where possible, use hardwired electric heaters or portable electric heaters with auto shut-off.
Keeping Pipes Safe
Construction sites must meet the requirements of the 2007 edition of the NFPA 14 (National Fire Protection Association), as modified by the NYC Building Code.
- Protect all sprinkler and standpipe lines from freezing. NFPA 14 §188.8.131.52.
- Never thaw frozen pipes with a flame. Flames cause fires and steam explosions.
- Check valves to be sure they’re dry. Dry valves don’t freeze.
- Use heat trace tape along pipes in problem areas.
- Open a faucet near the frozen area to release melting ice vapors.
- Carefully thaw frozen areas with a heat gun, heat lamp or space heater.
- Have your roof water tank checked to be sure it’s protected from freezing. NFPA 25: 9.1.1
- When hydrostatically testing standpipes in freezing temperatures, follow NFPA 14 §11.4.
Additional Project Requirements