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NEW YORK CITY-Local construction industry leaders have introduced a 10-point proposal to increase safety on job sites here. The Build Safe NYC Project guidelines were drafted by representatives from Turner Construction, Bovis Lend Lease, Tishman Construction Corp., Skanska USA Building, StructureTone Inc. and Plaza Construction Corp.

The project involves training efforts to see that all parties understand and implement the standards. It also involves providing assistance and support to subcontractors in preparing project specific safety and health plans, performing pre-task safety and health planning and advancing their safety and health efforts. Partnering with local union safety representatives is a key element as well as creating safety and health advisory committee of industry organizations and agencies.

Other elements involve increasing communication with the design community to explore ideas they may have on improving construction safety and health performance and supporting sustainable design. Other elements include establishing and building a construction skilled support resource pool for city-wide emergency/disaster response needs as well as benchmarking and cataloguing incidents.

It marks the first time the city’s top contractors are self-imposing site safety guidelines. “With New York City on the verge of an unprecedented building boom, the Build Safe NYC Project will make one of the most dangerous occupations in the world significantly safer,” explains Louis J. Coletti, president and CEO of the BTEA. “It is our responsibility and goal to foster a safer environment for workers and the public alike.”

New York City Department of Buildings commissioner Patricia J. Lancaster, FAIA, who will remain as part of the administration, says the department’s research shows that focusing on safety makes a difference. “The impact of programs like this is good for the industry, good for the individual workers and good for the general public.”

Beginning in January, they will be reviewed by other industry leaders, with the lead contractors expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding implementing the changes. The Build Safe NYC Project was officially introduced during a panel at the Building Trade Employers’ Association’s annual conference. BTEA represents 1,500 construction company members of the Building Trades and 25 contractor associations.

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