The New York City Council has passed legislation that would “overhaul” construction safety in the city, according to a press release by the legislative body. The bill, Int 2276-2021, requires construction sites to assign a “designated full-time construction superintendent who would be responsible for safety and code compliance, along with overall management of the construction project.” This role would complement existing safety personnel like site safety coordinators and site safety managers.
In addition to requiring a full-time construction superintendent at job sites, the bill additionally phases in limitations “on the number of non-major building jobs that a construction superintendent may serve on at one time.” The phase-in period will be from June 1, 2022 until January 1, 2026, at which time the law will require construction superintendents to be “present” at the construction site they’re overseeing while work is going on; if they’re not present, a “competent person” will have to be there in their stead. If there are multiple safety managers at a single site, one will be designated ‘primary site safety manager” and bear responsibility for safety management (as defined by city law).
The bill was co-sponsored by City Council members Francisco Moya, Margaret Chin, and Farah Louis. “We’ve seen too many times and for far too long workers’ lives be put at risk of injury or worse death across construction sites,” Moya said in a statement about the bill in advance of its passage. “This bill is another opportunity to enforce and advance construction safety and ensure that we are not only making bad contractors accountable but that safety is being prioritized. I want to thank the Speaker and my colleagues for supporting the lives and safety of the public and our brothers and sisters in labor.”
According to a report by Sun News, 144 New York City construction workers were injured in job site accidents between April and June 2021. The safety bill was approved by the City Council on November 10, 2021 and is now awaiting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature.