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 September 21, 2022, BTEA New York’s Construction Safety Committee virtually held its monthly safety meeting. Below are important highlights from the agenda.

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August Incident Report

  • There were higher than usual incidents for the month: 56 total, resulting in 59 workers injured. Categories are as follows: 16 falls, 5 “struck by” accidents, 2 ladder-related incidents, 5 scaffold-related, and 4 excavation accidents. A sharp uptick in falls led to sprains and cuts that required off-site treatment.

  • Two recent fatalities. Falling equipment killed a worker at a Brooklyn excavated site. A second worker fell 65 feet through an opening in a scaffold. The worker was not wearing a harness. Both incidents are under investigation.

  • The day before the meeting, a falling boom struck a non-worker vehicle standing at a red light. The driver received minor injuries, miraculously. The incident is under investigation.

Stop Work Orders for August

  • ERT and Safety Compliance issued 263 total stop work orders, representing a downward trend. The number includes 180 partial stop orders and 83 full-stop orders.


  • Stop work order reinspection requests totaled 549. Response time averaged 2.6 days – good. Of the rescinds, 63 percent passed the first time around, 24 percent failed. 13 percent were issued partial lifts.


  • Under Local Law 96, the DOB issued 9 violations – 2 in Manhattan, 1 in the Bronx, 2 in Brooklyn, 4 in Queens.

  • The BTEA will be inviting the newly appointed Department of Buildings Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement, Joseph Esposito to participate in our next Safety Committee meeting for an opportunity to "connect and get his vision and exchange perspectives."


Regarding troubling safety numbers, OSHA announced it is preparing a letter to new Enforcement Deputy Joseph Esposito inviting him to participate in the next BTEA Safety Meeting for the opportunity to “connect and get his vision and exchange perspectives.”

Occupational Safety and

Health Administration (OSHA)

  • OSHA acknowledged participants in September’s Safe and Sound Week. Those who haven’t yet can still document their S&S events on the OSHA website. OSHA also reminded meeting participants that management and leadership commitment to safety training for employees is a year-round priority.


  • OSHA brought on two compliance assistance specialists, one in the Hosbrook Heights area office and the other in the Queens area offices. Both are Spanish speakers and can help with outreach to Spanish-speaking personnel.


  • September is Suicide Prevention Month. The construction industry ranks among the highest in incidents of suicide. Starting in July, “988” was designated as the three-digit dial code connecting to the National Prevention Lifeline. Since its implementation, there’s been a 45 percent increase in calls.


  • September is also National Preparedness Month. The need for area construction sites to prepare for hurricane season and potentially catastrophic seasonal weather events is of particular concern.


  • Fire Prevention Week runs from October 12-16. This year marks the centennial anniversary of the campaign.

MTA Construction & Development

BTEA welcomed the new MTA Vice President of Safety, Ausberto Huertas Jr., who will regularly contribute to the monthly safety meetings moving forward. Huertas noted that all MTA construction projects fall under the banner of MTA Construction & Development, which encompasses the Metro-North system, the Long Island Railroad, and NYC Transit, as well as bridges and tunnels.


  • MTA construction incident update for 2021 and 2022: A total of 509 incidents – the highest number were “struck bys” followed by falls and near misses. There were no fatalities in 2021 but one fatal incident in 2022 that’s under investigation to determine whether it was work-related or due to a pre-existing medical condition.


  • For August, there were 29 incidents (struck bys - 41 percent, falls - 17 percent, “caught in-betweens” - 10 percent).


The MTA aims to streamline its processes for better communication between regions and agencies.

Legislative Update

While both the Carlos Law and Contractor Registration legislation passed both state houses in 2022, neither bill has made it to the governor’s desk for signature. The delay is good news as it indicates that the Hochul administration is taking BTEA’s objections to these bills seriously. Conversations with the governor, the general counsel, and the state director of operations are ongoing. BTEA is arguing that the legislation is detrimental to small minority contractors and the industry as a whole.

MTA Congestion Pricing Update

In 2019, the state legislature required the MTA to find and implement a system for raising funds for the capital budget, prompting plans for congestion pricing in Manhattan. August saw two weeks of public hearings on a plan to charge cars $23 to enter Manhattan below 60th St. Public reaction is overwhelmingly negative. BTEA floated the idea to allow exceptions as practiced by other major cities that have implemented congestion pricing (London, Milan, etc.) The idea has proved a non-starter. BTEA’s hearing testimony stressed the potential impact on construction contractors who have no other means of transporting workers and equipment and can make multiple runs into Manhattan daily. To compensate, contractors would have to raise feed. In effect, the MTA pricing proposal would increase the money it spends on capital projects to a net loss. The BTEA will continue to argue that congestion pricing is a money loser.

Mayor Adams’ 90-Day Commission

On September 14, Mayor Adams and DOB launched a 90-day commission of stakeholders across city government, labor, the construction industry, and the non-profit sector to create a comprehensive set of structural recommendations to improve workflow and cooperation and reduce regulatory hurdles. BTEA, a key stakeholder, will share information among members throughout the process and take information and concerns of its membership back to the relevant committees.

Communications & Events

View the Latest Edition of Our Fast Four Newsletter

Transformative Projects Awards Reception

November 22, 2022 | 5:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

Registration is open for the 2022 Transformative Projects Awards Reception.

Register Today

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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