Getting your job OSHA and Building Department-Read
When it comes to safety and the protection of the public and property, it can be challenging to navigate and adhere to all the federal OSHA and local building department rules and regulations.
The first step is to make sure you have your administrative file in order. Your preconstruction safety checklist should include a primary document called a Health and Safety Program (HASP). A well drafted corporate health and safety program will provide a baseline and identify requirements covered by federal OSHA and most likely state and local programs. A clear written HASP should include the company’s commitment to a safe and healthy environment, identify goals and objectives, provide resources to train staff and workers and identify key, competent personnel. The program should include Hazard Communications, Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), fall protection requirements, electrical grounding programs, scaffold, crane and excavation guidelines, hot work and daily housekeeping requirements. Having your workers understand the HASP and acknowledge the contents of the program is also an important step towards accountability.
A site-specific health and safety program must be tailored to your project site. Do you have a safety logistics plan that incorporates accurate site conditions, such as sidewalk sheds, adjacent property protection, staging areas, maintenance and protection of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, identifying public walkways and overhead protection, means of egress, fire safety, storage of materials and equipment, standpipe locations, emergency evacuation routes, as well as hoist and crane locations? This document, if prepared correctly, will include most elements of the requirements of a site-specific safety plan.
Local safety training rules, for New York City for example, include requirements for all workers to have a 10-hour OSHA training course certification, 4-hr. supported scaffold, 16-hr. suspended scaffold and 32-hr. erector/dismantler training certificate, as well as various certificates of fitness for fire department hot work activities.
The New York City Department of Buildings requires engineered drawings to be on site, in part, for public inspection for the following items: construction site fence, sidewalk shed, supported scaffold designs over 40 feet, shaft protection, fall protection and anchorage points, suspended scaffolding, guard rail systems, vertical and horizontal netting systems, and tenant protection plans.
Implementing your plan and program daily with a dedicated safety manager or safety engineer is crucial to a successful program. Having a project superintendent doubling as a site safety manager may work for small projects, such as 1-, 2- and 3-family projects. On larger projects, the project superintendent is under pressure to bring the job in on budget and ahead of schedule, which tends to compromise the safety aspect of the project.
The independent site safety manager can quickly assess and reduce liability by noting and reporting deviations for correction. He or she can recommend and provide retraining for workers who are found to be “non-compliant” with the company’s HASP. Providing the proper training and safety orientations is an ongoing process that should be managed by a dedicated site safety engineer or manager.
At Certified Site Safety of NY LLC, we have over 10 years’ experience working in the public and private sectors providing corporate health and training programs, safety logistics plans, and OSHA and Department of Buildings Training.
Our motto is “We are in the business of saving lives.” We have a proven track record of success in New York City and beyond.
To learn more about what we do to save lives and reduce liability, visit our website at www.CertifiedSiteSafety.com or call us for a free consultation at 914-437-5454.