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For Immediate Release
April 23, 2012


Safety Summit in Times Square Kicks off 8th Annual Construction Safety Week

New York is Among First Cities in the World to Accept 3D Site Safety Plans Which
Allow Inspectors to Take Virtual Tours of a Construction Project

More than 350 Industry Professionals and Regulators Participate in Daylong Conference

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri today kicked off the Department’s 8th annual Construction Safety Week with the 2012 Build Safe/Live Safe Conference at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. More than 350 construction professionals and government regulators attended the daylong conference where the Department unveiled its latest safety initiative, 3D Site Safety Plans. This new program allows contractors on the City’s largest construction projects to electronically submit three-dimensional, interactive images of a project’s required site safety plan – increasing the overall safety of the construction process while accelerating Department plan approvals. Three-dimensional site safety plans enable Department inspectors to take a virtual, step-by-step tour of how a new building or major renovation will be constructed, visualize its complexities and challenges and review critical safety measures – from the placement of the crane to the construction of the standpipe system to the installation of the sidewalk shed. Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway delivered the keynote address at the safety summit, focusing on how the City has been working to accelerate the construction approval process while improving safety standards citywide.

“The use of 3D site safety plans is a revolutionary step toward improving construction safety throughout New York City, and we are encouraging more contractors to participate,” said Commissioner LiMandri.  “In recent years, the Department has implemented new regulations and created new units to improve industry standards, and builders across the City have taken significant steps to ensure New Yorkers are better protected during construction operations. But there’s more room for improvement, and through this safety summit, we will continue to work together to reduce potential risks on construction sites across the City.”

New York is among the first cities in the world to accept and review 3D site safety plans for construction operations and approvals. Site safety plans are required for the City’s largest construction projects before permits can be issued – including the construction of new buildings 10 stories and higher, gut renovation of buildings 10 stories and higher that involve mechanical demolition, façade restoration of buildings 15 stories and higher and buildings with a footprint of 100,000 square feet or more. Three-dimensional site safety plans are created with Building Information Modeling (BIM) software and can be uploaded to a secure, shared website where Department plan examiners can review them in an electronic format. Due to the evolving conditions on any major construction site, contractors can submit amendments to their site safety plans, and with the use of 3D images, revised plans can be submitted and approved in a more timely fashion than with the use of two-dimensional plans on paper. 

The submission of 3D site safety plans will lead to:

  • Increased site safety: potential safety risks can be identified earlier in the process before issues arise in the field;
  • Faster approvals: three-dimensional, real-time images enhance communication between field inspectors, office supervisors and industry members; and
  • Fewer office visits: three-dimensional site safety plans uploaded to a secure website can be submitted without visiting a Department office.

At the 2012 Build Safe/Live Safe Conference, Department experts held eight seminars on new construction practices and regulations, four of which can be applied toward continuing education credits for licensed industry professionals. At the safety summit, Department officials, members from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and others staffed more than 10 informational booths on new initiatives designed to improve the construction experience for all New Yorkers – from the expansion of the Department’s e-Filing program, which allows industry members to obtain construction permits online, to the NYC Development Hub, which allows licensed architects and engineers to submit digital construction plans for the design of any construction project. The topics of the eight seminars were as follows:

  • Safety Plan Reviews in 3D
  • Engineering Solutions in Safe Construction
  • Elevator Construction, Maintenance and Repair
  • Best Practices in High-Rise Construction
  • Creating 3D Site Safety Plans
  • Concrete Enforcement and Testing
  • Façade Maintenance and Repair -- Local Law 11/98
  • Excavations, Scaffolds and Interior Renovations

Construction Safety Week is an annual series of events and outreach programs aimed at raising awareness about construction safety. Other events during this week include an extended Homeowner’s Night on Tuesday, April 24, and a construction site visit on Thursday, April 26, as part of the Department’s Experience Is Not Enough campaign, which launched in 2011. The multilingual citywide campaign emphasizes the importance of construction workers using proper fall protection, such as safety harnesses, guardrails and netting, regardless of how long they have worked in the construction industry. Since the campaign’s launch, more than 15,000 posters, banners and bracelets have been distributed to construction sites throughout the City.

Contact:     Tony Sclafani/Ryan FitzGibbon                              (212) 566-3473
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