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Stop Falls and Save Lives During Annual National Safety Week

May 06, 2019

DDC: Shoshana Khan, 718-391-1251,

NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Lorraine Grillo announced today that in support of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) annual National Safety Week, DDC’s Safety & Site Support division will focus on educating employees on ways to prevent falls at construction sites.

Falls are the leading cause of worker fatalities within the construction industry. According to OSHA, more than 800 construction workers lose their life and nearly 137,000 are seriously are injured at construction sites each year. Fall protection is required when work is performed at heights of six feet or above ground level.

“It’s essential that we continue to focus on the safety of construction workers. Many of the injuries that happen on construction sites are preventable with the right training and the proper safety precautions,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “DDC hopes that this week will encourage employees to take more time to think about falls, and how they can be prevented in the workplace.”

“This is the third year in which DDC has supported the annual National Fall Prevention Safety Week in raising safety awareness of DDC employees and contractors through safety advisories, posters, daily messages and training videos,” said DDC Assistant Commissioner for Safety & Site Support Jean M. Jean-Louis. “Historically, falls are the leading cause of injuries and fatalities in construction. Preventing falls can mean the difference between life and death. Falls can be prevented by the installation of fall protection systems such as guardrails, safety net systems or personal fall arrest systems.”

In January 2019, DDC’s Safety & Site Support division’s Construction Safety hosted the third iteration of the DDC Safety Summit. Nearly 60 construction professionals came together at the Summit, which provided an opportunity to share safety achievements, receive feedback, provide updates on safety regulations, and outline DDC safety expectations with CM, REI, and contractors’ employees.

Nearly 800 site safety audits and more than 700 safety plan reviews have been conducted by the Safety & Site Support division in FY 2019. To streamline the safety plan submittal and review process, DDC’s Construction Safety and Information Technology are working on the development of a web-based interactive Safety Plan Application.

Some of the leading causes of incidents and accidents are improper selection or use of tools/equipment, failure to protect utilities, poor site housekeeping leading to slips/falls, improper personal protective equipment (PPE), insufficient training and inadequate oversight. From FY 2018, there has been a 31 percent decrease in “struck by object” incidents, a 40 percent decrease in “trips/slips” and a 60 percent decrease in injuries related to the use of tools and equipment.

For more information on how to create safe working conditions please visit OSHA or call at (800) 321-6742.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction

The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $12 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit