For Immediate Release: May 2, 2022
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DOB KICKS OFF CONSTRUCTION SAFETY WEEK, REDOUBLES FOCUS ON WORK SITE SAFETY
Department to Host Citywide Construction Safety Awareness Events
New York, NY – Today, Acting Commissioner Constadino "Gus" Sirakis, P.E., announced the official kick-off of the Department’s annual Construction Safety Week activities, designed to raise awareness about the critical importance of best safety practices on the work site to avoid injuries and keep work on track. During Construction Safety Week, from May 2nd to May 6th, DOB staff will fan out across the City, visiting building construction sites so we can talk directly to both contractors and workers about work site safety. The Department is also hosting a digital construction safety conference, with free safety seminars held throughout the week. In addition, the Department will be running public service announcements on television and on mass transit on the topic of work site safety. This year, the Department's outreach efforts will place added emphasis on raising awareness about the dangers of worker falls, which remain the most common cause for construction-related injuries in New York City.
“New Yorkers are counting on our city’s construction workers to propel our economic recovery, and we owe them a safe environment to do that critical work,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “I am committed to giving construction workers the tools and resources they need to stay safe while moving our city forward and putting food on the table for their families. These dedicated New Yorkers have been out of their homes and working on site for most of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is no better way to show our gratitude than by doubling down on our commitment to their safety and well-being.”
“As Father Brian Jordan emphasized at last week’s Hard Hat Memorial at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, tragically every year too many construction workers die because of unsafe conditions on a construction site,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “Construction Safety Week will educate some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers in how to keep themselves safe as they build the city. I thank NYC Department of Buildings and its partners for emphasizing critical safety matters that can save lives.”
"Every year, we acknowledge Construction Safety Week as a time to take an accounting of how the industry is protecting their workers and the public on construction sites citywide,” said Acting Buildings Commissioner Sirakis. “The data shows that New York City has made substantial progress in enforcing accountability and implementing a culture of safety, but there is still work to be done. This Construction Safety Week, DOB along with our agency partners will be out in all five boroughs, with a clear message to the construction industry that safety must always be the #1 priority.”
“All New Yorkers deserve safe workplaces,” said Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “I am thrilled to join the Department of Buildings and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration today to promote safe construction sites and make sure workers know their rights.”
“Falls are a leading killer of construction workers, accounting for hundreds of deaths nationwide every year. These deaths are preventable and education about fall hazards and safeguards is critical for workers and employers. This is why OSHA is working together with partners such as the New York City Department of Buildings and Department of Consumer and Worker Protection to raise awareness about how to protect workers so they can return home safely at the end of each work day,” said Richard Mendelson, OSHA’s Regional Administrator.
During these work site visits, DOB staff and our agency partners will be handing out safety literature to construction workers and raising awareness about work site fall prevention, construction safety regulations and mandatory training requirements for workers at the City’s larger sites. As part of this effort, we are bringing back our construction safety-themed food truck for a five-borough work site tour, providing free food and injury prevention information to our city’s construction workers.
Throughout the week, the Department will host Spring Digital Build: Safety, Innovation & Sustainability Conference, with free educational webinars held every day, where DOB experts will discuss industry trends and provide in-depth analysis of safe construction operations. Our digital conference events are a critical link between the Department and industry members, with a focus on improving safety and compliance in the building and construction trades. Seminar topics to be presented at this year’s digital conference, which will be posted online after the event, include:
In March 2022, DOB released the 2021 New York City Construction Safety Report, a comprehensive analysis of safety trends in the five boroughs over the 2021 calendar year. This report provides an overview of building construction data, worker incidents, and Department-issued enforcement actions, as the City continues to make strides in supporting a safety-first culture in the construction industry. The report shows that for the third year in a row, building construction-related incidents have declined in our City, even as construction activity has rebounded from a pandemic-related low in 2020.
Please contact the DOB press office if you wish to attend any Construction Safety Week events or would like further information.