Welcome to Building Trades Employers Association’s (BTEA) Safety Brief, containing important safety news and updates. This digital publication contains highlights from BTEA’s Construction Safety Committee meetings with New York City Department of Buildings and OSHA representatives.

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On December 15, 2021, BTEA’s Construction Safety Committee held its monthly safety meeting virtually. Below are important highlights from the agenda.

Below are important highlights from the agenda.

New York City Department of Buildings (DOB)


November Incident Report


  • In November, there were 45 incidents that contributed to 44 total injuries. This is a slight uptick from October’s report, despite there being slightly fewer working days in November due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

  • One November incident occurred due to there being space between the face of a building and the scaffolding. The amount of space between the two areas did not conform to code, leading to the worker falling down three floors. The worker sustained a head injury due to the fall.

  • On Friday, December 10, there was an incident at a site in Brooklyn, wherein a window washer was in a chair with a harness to perform window washing. The worker fell 23 stories, over 200 feet, due to a malfunction in the harness.

Trends in the Incidents

  • Increase in ladder incidents
  • Incidents involving circular saws
  • Incidents related to material handling, especially when transporting material from one location to another

COVID-19 Complaints, Stop Work Orders & Summons Report – December 2021

  • In December, there were a total of 83 stop work orders and 283 partial stop work orders. Under Local Law 96, DOB issued 35 violations, due to issues relating to proper training and safety logs.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

  • While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers and emergency services, OSHA has to suspend activities relating to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS, and in further developments in the litigation. It is a rapidly evolving situation.

  • The new Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) is moving forward and undergoing its regulatory review. At this time, OSHA is coming very close to the end of the original ETS. The ETS is set to expire January 20, 2022 or January 21, 2022.

  • OSHA is reminding construction site employees to be aware of the temperature, especially in early spring, when the city experiences its first warm days as winter comes to an end. Be sure to prioritize worker safety, especially among those workers who are new on the job – three out of every four illnesses or injuries occur during the first week on the job. Comments are still accepted on the heat initiative, until January 26, 2022.


  • Suicide prevention is still an important issue on construction sites. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), construction occupations have the highest rate of suicide. Visit the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP) for resources and to learn more about prevention plans


You can call your local office if you have concerns or issues.


OSHA also offers free consultation services. Click here

Construction Manager and General Contractor Licensing


In late September, the Department of Buildings issued a provision that would have required all subcontractor permits to also have a general contractor. General contractors currently have some of the most stringent safety regulations in the country. Many municipalities already have licensing requirements; New York City Construction Code is based on code from the International Construction Council. This is not just about contractor licensing in New York City, but a standardization of how the codes work nationwide. More information on this issue will be forthcoming in January or February 2022.

NYC Buildings Proposes New Voluntary Development Program


NYC Buildings has announced the proposed creation of the Major Projects Development Program at the Department of Buildings. The intention of this new program is to improve safety and efficiency on complex work sites by increasing support and collaboration among agencies throughout the duration of the development process.

"The BTEA is delighted by the creation of the new Major Projects Development Program and thanks Commissioner La Rocca for her leadership,” said Louis J. Coletti, President and CEO, Building Trades Employers Association. “This Program will streamline any number of parallel processes into one pathway for Major Projects from conception to completion. We are committed to working with the Department to make this program a great success."

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COVID Protocols on Jobsites


Currently, every job site has mask requirements in place, regardless of vaccination status, however, it is up to general contractors to handle communication updates related to COVID-19 protocols with their crews. General contractors shared that they have communication standards in place to notify everyone, in the office and in the field, when there is a positive case. Many firms have set up contact tracing, as well as put other safety precautions into place – mask requirements, hand sanitizing stations and more.

This report was provided by BTEA Senior Vice President, Donald Ranshte.

Milwaukee Tool Presentation: Type II Safety Helmet


Milwaukee Tool is proud to be launching an innovative safety helmet, which provides top interior protection, as well as a foam insert and padded suspension. This new helmet also offers moisture wicking, anti-microbial protection that is removable, machine washable and replaceable. There is an adjustable ratchet that makes wearing the helmet as comfortable as possible.


These helmets are made locally in Quantico, Wisconsin, not far from the Milwaukee Tool headquarters and are available in a range of colors.

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Building Trades Employers Association of New York is the construction contractor's unified advocate for construction safety standards, professional development, government affairs, public relations and fostering communication between public officials, public and private owners, labor and the general public. Realizing that a construction industry is essential to the vibrant future of New York City its activities are dedicated to a building environment meeting the highest of environmental standards, integrity, cost efficiency, productivity and value that contributes to improving the quality of life in New York City. BTEA represents 26 Construction Manager, General Contractor, Subcontractor and Specialty Trade contractor associations with over 1,200 individual contractor members.