Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed six bills that are a part of the Construction Safety Act, including two bills sponsored by Brooklyn Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, deputy leader, and chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings.
Williams, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life that Intro 1446 requires hoisting machine operators obtain a special rating in order to operate particularly large cranes; and Intro 1448 requires buildings under 10 stories (excluding 1-, 2- and 3-family buildings) to retain a construction superintendent to maintain a safe job site.
“The one thing all construction workers have in common, whether union or non-union, is that they go into work every day because they are trying to feed their families,” Williams said. “Just because we are experiencing a construction boom in the City, it doesn’t mean that we have to sacrifice safety precautions to keep up with the pace.
“Intros. 1446 and 1448 move us in the right direction in minimizing harm to workers and the public by requiring safety plans and a safety monitoring program at construction sites, and by strengthening licensing requirements for crane operators,” he added. “These bills are for all of the workers who didn’t make it home after a day on their job site. My hope is that with due diligence and oversight, we can prevent one more family from losing a loved one.”
Under Intro 1446, operators would obtain a licensing rating to operate particularly large cranes through satisfactory demonstration by operation, practical examination, or completion of simulator training specific to the make and model of the crane, Williams said.
He said the operator is also required to have at least two years of experience under the direct and continuing supervision of a class B licensed hoisting machine operator.
Intro 1448 also requires construction superintendents at construction jobs and buildings under ten stories, create a site safety plan and keep the plan on site, Williams said.
He said the bills are a part of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Construction Safety Act, a thorough 21-bill package of legislation that will strengthen construction and crane safety regulations in New York City.
Williams said these bills were drafted in response to the alarming increase in construction and accident related fatalities.
The Construction Worker Safety Act aims to address the longstanding issues of lax compliance with local construction codes and carelessness on the behalf of contractors, he said.
“Given the recent reports on construction site related injuries and fatalities, it is paramount we pass legislation that promotes an atmosphere of safety at construction sites,” Williams said.
He said Intro 1446 will go into effect in six months, and Intro 1448 will go into effect in 180 days.