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On October 19, 2022, BTEA New York's Construction Safety Committee virtually held its monthly safety meeting. Below are highlights from the agenda.

Special Note

Today's briefing is the last from Bernard "Bernie" Ross, director of Construction Safety Enforcement, Engineering & Safety Operations for the NYC Department of Buildings, who is retiring as of November 1, 2022. Bernie started his career at DOB in 2002. Since then, he has been a vocal and effective advocate for worker safety at all levels. Bernie's BTEA colleagues applaud his dedication, thank him for his service, and wish him a happy retirement.

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September Incident Report

  • There were 54 construction-related incidents resulting in 56 injuries that required workers to be taken off-site for medical treatment. There were two fatalities early in the month (discussed at the September safety meeting but to review – one worker was crushed when a pile driver head disengaged; the second suffered a fall moving from a roof to a scaffold while unharnessed). 

  • Categories are as follows: 15 falls, two scaffold-related, and 37 miscellaneous, which include tool/equipment-related accidents (two workers' hands crushed in separate incidents, a cut knee in a saw mishap, several "A-frame"-related accidents, slips, and falls, etc.) 
  • There were four pedestrian-related accidents in October – a notable uptick. Yodocks struck two at one site due to high wind conditions; one fell due to broken concrete, one was hit by falling debris; one was struck by a backing truck (flagmen onsite were untrained and not correctly positioned)

Stop Work Orders for September


  •  DOB issued 197 total stop work orders (SWOs), including 179 partial stop orders and 18 full-stop orders. These numbers represent a significant drop. Typically, stop-work orders have averaged 300 a month. The decrease reflects newly revised review standards. Borough commissioners and the deputy commissioners now review SWO and partials. Also, DOB members participate in the 90-Day Commissioners Task Force, bringing broad industry input and common-sense ideas to the process.

  • Stop work order reinspection requests totaled 604. Response time averaged under three days. Borough breakdown: 44 in Manhattan, 93 in Brooklyn, 31 in Queens, 24 in the Bronx, and five in Staten Island. Of the rescinds, 62 percent passed the first time, and 24 percent were partially lifted. Fourteen percent failed. 

  • Under Local Law 96, the DOB issued nine violations, including eight for lack of training and one for a missing log – in three in Manhattan, two in Brooklyn, and four in Queens.

A Reminder of Available Web Resources

Fall Protection Standards

Mike Costantino, Sales Solutions, Inc.

Mike Costantino of Sales Solutions presented an update on American National Standards Institute (ANSI) fall safety standards. (ANSI is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States.) The complete presentation visual is here. Highlights:


The General Z359 anchor (or "Yo-Yos") – Standards approved June 2021; effective August 2022 but extended to February 1, 2023

  • SRL Class A and Class B classifications were replaced by Class 1 and Class 2.
  • Test mass requirements raised to 310 lbs. (previously 282 - 300 lbs.)
  • Static testing requirement raised to 3,600 lb. (previously 3,000 lbs.)
  • New standards present a compliance challenge to 3/16" cable design units. Stainless steel units are failing the new standard.
  • DOB should ask manufacturers their plans to meet the new standards – it's your right to ask for proof – a declaration of conformity  


ANSI Z359 Full Body Harness – Standards approved March 2021; effective May 2022

  • ANSI-compliant harness must have a backstrap or belt to prevent the user from falling from the harness
  • Tested for head-first and feet-first falls.


Fall Protection Code for qualifications and testing of all products – Standards approved April 2019; effective May 2020

  • All testing must be conducted in an ISO:17025 lab.
  • ISO:9001 accredited manufacturers must requalify every five years
  • Non-ISO:9001 accredited manufacturers must requalify every two years.
  • Professional engineer witness requirement replaced by required publication of Declarations of Conformity (DOC) or Certificates of Conformity (COC) certificate

Legislative Update

Carlos Law and Contractor Safety Registration legislation are awaiting the governor's signature and will likely remain in a holding pattern until after November's election. Gov passed both state houses in 2022; neither bill has made it to the governor's desk for signature. The governor has until the end of 2022 to sign the bills.


  • Re: Carlos' Law, there's a potential charter amendment that would change the definition of "injured worker" to "seriously injured worker," which is good for contractors because it raises the standard of liability. 

  • Re: The Safety Registration bill, a potential change would place an onerous requirement burden on sub-contractors. BTEA is pushing heavily to see the bill "pass on" without the governor's signature.

  • Newly issued Stop Work Order Guidance standards are under review. The guidance allows a knowledgeable third party onsite to mitigate a potential SWO or partial, a plus for contractors. There are potential logistical issues that will be examined and discussed with DOB.


  • Mayor Adams' 90-Day Commission, made up of stakeholders from the public and private sectors - including BTEA New York President & CEO Louis Coletti - is engaged in discussions that will produce structural recommendations to improve workflow and cooperation and reduce regulatory hurdles. BTEA New York Executive V.P. Donald Ranshte reported that the various committee meetings have begun and invited team members to forward ideas and concerns to introduce into the relevant discussions. Early indicators point to a more open, responsive, and industry-friendly process than in years past.

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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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