Council Housing and Buildings Committee to Hold Oversight Hearing on High-Rise Construction Site Safety

CITY HALL – The City Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee will convene a hearing at 10 a.m. on April 29, to discuss and determine reforms for construction site safety at high-rise developments. Specifically, the hearing will focus on whether the City’s crane regulations are sufficient for ensuring the safety of both workers and the many people who walk under and around development sites everyday. This is the latest in a series of Council hearings designed to improve construction site safety.

“We don’t yet know all the facts that led to the East Side crane collapse, but we do know that we must take whatever actions in our power to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Construction is a crucial component of our economy, but we cannot sacrifice safety in the name of development. Our thoughts and prayers remain with all the families that were affected by the tragic accident.”

“Saturday’s accident was a horrible reminder that we can never let down in our pursuit of the best construction site safety standards possible,” said Housing and Buildings Chair Erik Martin-Dilan. “Because of the rapid pace of development, we should proceed more cautiously. We need to know what we can do to keep everyone, workers and residents alike, out of harm’s way.”

“Those who have suffered through this tragic event will be dealing with the aftermath of the accident long after this story has faded from the headlines,” said Council Member Jessica Lappin, who represents the affected area. “We owe it the victims and their families to find the solutions that will keep this from happening again, and I look forward to being apart of that process.”

The hearing will tie into the Council’s ongoing effort to look at the level of construction in the City and what steps government and the industry can take to implement the highest safety standards possible at all development sites. Previous hearings have examined, among other topics, if worker training needs to be enhanced, whether city regulations around high rises are sufficient, if there is a large enough workforce to keep pace with development demands and whether the timeframe for the development of high rises is appropriate.

In April, the Council will announce final recommendations of the DOB Task Force, which aim to improve the enforcement and inspection capacity of the agency.

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