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For Immediate Release
December 19, 2012

BUILDINGS COMMISSIONER ROBERT LIMANDRI REMINDS PROPERTY OWNERS AND CONTRACTORS TO “WINTERIZE” THEIR CONSTRUCTION SITES IN PREPARATION FOR THE WINTER SEASON

10 Safety Tips to Prepare Construction Sites for the Winter Season

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri today reminded property owners and contractors to prepare their construction sites for the winter season by implementing basic safety measures. As the cold weather approaches, construction professionals should take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their workforce and the public at their construction sites. Since 2008, the Department has launched several public safety campaigns focused on increasing construction and building safety, including distributing flyers warning against the dangers of illegal conversions and providing 10 tips on how to properly safeguard a construction site during the winter months. Earlier this year, the Department also unveiled a new program to accept three-dimensional site safety plans for the City’s largest construction sites as a new way to improve site safety and coordination among inspectors and contractors.

“Taking proper precautions is the best way to prevent accidents,” said Commissioner LiMandri. “With winter just around the corner, we want to remind all construction professionals that it is imperative to “winterize” their job sites in order to ensure workers and New Yorkers are better protected. These tips should serve as a standard checklist on how to prepare sites for the winter weather so all New Yorkers can have a safe holiday season.”

The Department suggests the following 10 tips for property owners and contractors on how to “winterize” their construction sites:

  • Fire safety precautions: Replace wooden access ladders to forming and stripping floors with non-combustible ladders and store materials away from flames. All temporary heating equipment must comply with the New York City Fire Code.

  • Safeguarding pipes: Never thaw frozen pipes with a flame, which can cause fires and steam explosions. Carefully thaw frozen areas with a heat gun, heat lamp or space heater.

  • Safeguarding a water tank: Make sure to have your roof water tank inspected to ensure it is protected from freezing.

  • Debris removal: Remove loose and discarded debris after each work day to ensure materials do not fall or shift to the street level. Remove ice and snow.

  • Secure equipment: Secure all construction materials, netting, ladders, chutes and accessories that could shift during inclement weather. Store smaller items in a tool box or container for future use.

  • Secure temporary structures: Secure all scaffolding and sidewalk sheds, which are temporary structures that provide overhead protection for pedestrians during construction operations. Secure fencing as well.

  • No work in icy conditions: Avoid all work on scaffolds covered in snow, ice or slippery materials, except to remedy to hazardous condition.

  • No work in stormy conditions: Avoid all work on or from a scaffold during storms and high winds unless construction workers are protected by a fall-protection system.

  • Hoist safety: Avoid using personnel hoists in heavy rain, freezing conditions or winds reaching up to 35 miles per hour. Hoists that have been exposed to winds stronger than 35 miles per hour must be inspected before use.

  • Crane safety: Cranes must be properly stored, inspected and maintained at all times – including positioning for inclement weather. Use extra precaution in areas where water and ice may accumulate on the crane, creating a fall hazard or falling ice hazard.

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