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Growing Efforts to Push Scaffold Safety In New York

Published on: April 21, 2021

New York City, NY – The Department of Buildings has launched a seven-week facade and scaffold safety blitz this past month. The campaign includes educational outreach to construction workers and other professionals as well as inspection sweeps throughout the city to ensure compliance.

The sweeps, which Buildings Commissioner Melanie La Rocca calls a push “to establish a culture of safety in the industry,” will include buildings of all sizes, including around 300 buildings 6 stories and under, 500 buildings 7 – 14 stories, and 300 buildings 15 stories or higher. Inspectors will further provide a detailed checklist for any deficiencies or errors in scaffold setup. The DOB will also prioritize façade safety and inspection.

Falls from elevation can account for more than a third of construction-related fatalities. Contractors and owners can prevent scaffold-related hazards through required guardrails, safety harnesses and properly anchored scaffolds. Certain requirements for scaffolds, such as weight capacity, and height restrictions, are outlined in New York City’s Building Code.

Although this safety blitz is meant to identify and correct any deficiencies in ongoing construction projects, managers can stay ahead of the curve. Use DOB’s list of Department Approved Course Providers to find and schedule the training and refresher courses that construction teams need. The 16-Hour Suspended Scaffold User Course, for example, provides an overview of OSHA and DOB policies, procedures, and standards for suspended scaffolding. Special emphasis is placed on recognition and prevention of hazardous conditions. Students are also instructed on how to inspect suspended scaffold equipment.

Whether on scaffolding, lifts, ladders, or down on the ground, safety is always NYCA’s highest priority. For timely information on safety matters, visit our Safety Updates page.