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For Immediate Release
April 28, 2008


Free Construction Safety Seminars Offered in
All Five Boroughs

Acting Buildings Commissioner Robert D. LiMandri today launched Construction Safety Week 2008, an annual week-long series of free educational seminars and outreach events designed to increase public and worker awareness of safe construction practices. Construction Safety Week, which runs from April 28 through May 2, was kicked off this morning with a day laborer safety outreach effort outside the El Centro de Hospitalidad worker center in Staten Island. To promote worker safety, officials distributed construction safety literature and discussed with workers ways to stay safe on the job. Acting Buildings Commissioner LiMandri was joined at the kick-off event with Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Guillermo Linares, Compliance Assistance Specialist Michael Yarnell of the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Executive Director of El Centro de Hospitalidad Gonzalo Mercado and Reverend Terry Troia of Project Hospitality.

"We have seen an alarming increase in construction accidents this year. Construction Safety Week is an opportunity for workers and the public alike to learn more about safety regulations,” said Acting Commissioner Robert LiMandri. “With a variety of free programs offered all week, I urge all contractors, construction workers and homeowners to take advantage of this opportunity and join us in working to make construction in New York City safer."

Safety Seminars to Focus on High-Risk Construction Operations

Construction Safety Week offers a range of educational opportunities with trainings and seminars targeted to those who work in high-risk areas of construction, including demolition, crane, scaffold, excavation and concrete operations. To increase awareness of the proper procedures and safety regulations in these five highly-specialized trades, Buildings Department staff will join experts and representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Fire Department, Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration to share expertise in construction site safety. Among the public programs offered throughout the week are:

  • “Scaffold Safety: Keeping Workers Safe on the Job,” a worker training offered in English and Spanish on safe scaffold practices and the proper use of safety harnesses. Free safety harnesses will be distributed to workers who arrive at the event with a valid Certificate of Training Card, which certifies they have undergone the required training to use a scaffold and understand the safety equipment on a scaffold.

  • “Performing Safe Excavations: What You Need to Know,” a seminar that will examine excavation work in New York City and how to address the technical challenges presented by difficult lot layouts.

  • “Gut Renovations,” an event for homeowners that will offer individualized assistance on regulations regarding full interior renovations.

  • “Legalizing Illegal Conversions,” an event for homeowners that will offer individualized assistance in obtaining the proper permits to correct illegal conversions.

  • “Safety in the New Co des,” a technical seminar that will focus on chapters in the New NYC Construction Codes that specifically address construction site safety requirements.

  • “Safety First: Urban Demolitions,” a technical seminar for contractors on key concepts, applicable rules and best practices in demolition and deconstruction.

  • “Crane Safety: New Regulations You Must Know,” an educational tutorial on new rules and safety protocols for the installation and operation of tower cranes in New York City.

  • “Safe Concrete Operations: Design, Methods and Regulations,” an educational forum to examine current trends for concrete design, safety systems and regulations.

Construction Safety Week partners a variety of organizations, including Weill Cornell Medical College, International Code Council, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Fire Department, Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Real Estate Board of New York, American Institute of Architects NY Chapter, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Latin American Workers Project, El Centro de Hospitalidad, Project Hospitality, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and the New York State Society of Professional Engineers. For more information about Construction Safety Week, visit

Contact:     Kate Lindquist/Carly Sullivan (212) 566-3473