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

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On November 16, 2022, BTEA New York's Construction Safety Committee virtually held its monthly safety meeting. Below are highlights from the agenda.

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Special Note: Today's briefing is the first from Vishnu Persaud, Chief Inspector of Construction Safety Enforcement, replacing Bernard "Bernie" Ross, who retired last month. Also in a new role is Juan Arias, Assistant Commissioner for construction safety.

Building Code Update


  • New building code is in effect as of November 7. Major construction projects now require a full-time construction supervisor as well as a site safety coordinator/manager. Once the construction is in foundation, a safety coordinator is no longer required.

Stop Work Orders for Past Three Months


  • In October, DOB issued 197 total stop work orders (SWOs), including 194 partial stop orders and only 3 full-stop orders. For September, there were 180 partial and 19 full stop work orders. In August, 180 were partial and 78 were full SWOs. 


October Incident Report


  • There were 42 construction-related incidents, primarily falls. Safety incidents and violations are trending down, hopefully, due to improved enforcement and compliance, and better outreach.


New DOB Commissioner


  • DOB has a new acting commissioner,Kazimir Vilenchik, but the mission of the department remains the same, to ensure that DOB and industry collaborate safely and sensibly. The Adams Commission is winding down. We are listening to all stakeholders and looking forward to positive changes coming to DOB from the Commission’s work. 

A Reminder of Available Web Resources

Occupational Safety and

Health Administration (OSHA)

Year end is slow for OSHA in terms of initiatives but an important time for members to examine their programs for employee safety. For winter, OSHA is moving forward with a heat directive enforcement program. OSHA is also looking at a falls emphasis program.

Too many workers are injured or killed in falls annually. The discussion includes potentially requiring inspections for sites that potentially expose workers to fall hazards. Traditionally, OSHA inspectors checked for imminent dangers at sites, prompting investigations. The proposed approach promised to be more preventative. OSHA has two new site compliance officers based in Hasbrouck Heights and Queens, both are Spanish speaking, representing an important new capability for the organization.

MTA Construction & Development

Going into winter, an important time to assess safe-work plans. Incidents and injuries are trending down but are still high for “struck-bys”, slips, and falls at high-traffic sites where work is being done. For October, there were a total of 77 struck-bys; 62 slips, trips, and falls; 49 sprains and strains; 38 misc. medical issues (dust in eyes, etc.); 35 caught-in-betweens. While incident levels remain high, MTA is seeing a downward trend due to increased outreach and safety education. 

Building Department Update

  • BTEA New York had an encouraging introductory meeting with DOB Acting Commissioner Vilenchik, who expressed openness to change and maintained positive communication with the organization and industry stakeholders. One of the key issues discussed was DOB practice in issuing and rescinding stop work orders, which can be a significant obstacle for contractors, throwing off schedules and budgets. Stop orders will be an important discussion point with DOB going forward. Quarterly meetings with DOB to discuss agenda concerns are planned. GCs and subcontractors who want to participate can reach out through their BTEA exec.

  • The Adams’ 90 Commission is wrapping up and we can expect a series of recommendations, some in the form of DOB rules and orders; others will be forwarded to the City Council to approve changes to the building code. The commission conversations have been fruitful, and the department has been listening to industry concerns about enforcement, permits, licensing and emergency operations. We’re hoping the final recommendations are industry-friendly and continue to keep the workforce safe.

  • Superintendent Registration Rule – BTEA recently testified at a DOB hearing against a proposal that prevents site safety managers on one site from acting as an alternate safety manager on other sites. BTEA is arguing against the rule, which creates an artificial shortage of safety inspector professionals.

  •  Legislative Update – BTEA testified at a recent city council hearing against two poorly conceived regulatory bills that have few sponsors and aren’t likely to advance.

  • Carlos Law – As of the meeting date, Carlos Law has yet to be delivered to the governor for signature. Coordinated efforts (including state assembly members and minority clergy) are underway to put pressure on to stop the legislation outright or add amendments to better protect small and minority contractors who stand to be negatively impacted by the law’s liability standards.

This report was provided by BTEA New York’s President and CEO, Louis J. Coletti.

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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.


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