2006_10_constructsafety.jpgThe Department of Buildings is launching a safety outreach campaign after a number of construction accidents in the past month. Some of the incidents: A few workers fell from scaffolding in separate incidents (one died), a worker was killed when a building he was working in collapsed, and part of a crane fell onto a street and hit a cab. The DOB will be reminding constractors to make sure their equipment complies with regulations as well as encouraging workers to speak out if they see dangerous work conditions (anonymously, if they must).

Other new parts of the safety program: A Forensic Engineering Unit will be created to better understand structural failures in order to prevent others from happening and new "Earthwork Rules" will begin next week, requiring contractors to notify the DOB of excavation; in June, two brothers were trapped in cement while excavating a foundation.

State ComptrollerAlan Hevesi issued a report back in August noting that the DOB had increased their inspections and databases of crane and scaffolding operation, but Hevesi also found that many scaffolding locations lacked permits.