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NEW YORK CITY-The City Council on Wednesday passed two bills intended to bolster construction site safety, measures Mayor Michael Bloomberg says are the final components of a 12-point legislative agenda he announced last June.

The first of the two bills, Introductory Number 760, will require that contractors with poor safety records hire and pay for independent safety compliance officers. The officers will work on contract as agents of the Department of Buildings.

The second bill, Introductory Number 878, requires all general contractors–as well as demolition and concrete contractors–to obtain a safety registration number from the DOB in order to get building permits. The number will allow the DOB to track contractors’ performance and identify those with patterns of non-compliance and poor safety records.

Under the legislation, the buildings commissioner can require any contractor with a bad safety record to create a plan to improve safety at its construction sites. The law will require the DOB to study the data it obtains over 12 months as a basis to determine whether or not to deny, revoke or suspend a problem contractor’s safety control number.

“This tool will give the DOB 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,” says Bloomberg in a statement. Bloomberg announced the legislative agenda last June following two fatal crane accidents at construction sites in Manhattan.

Earlier this month, the DOB announced new protocols for standpipe inspections at high-rise construction and demolition sites, part of a program developed in the wake of the fatal August 2007 blaze at the former Deutsche Bank Building. The new daily and weekly inspections must be performed by a DOB-certified site safety manager and/or site safety coordinator hired by a private contractor.

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