New construction superintendent requirements will help jobsite safety, but do they go far enough?

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

In our last post, we noted that the current construction boom in New York City has prompted the Department of Buildings to make changes to ensure safer construction sites. This included expanding the duties of construction superintendents, both with respect to the types of projects that require a superintendent and their specific duties.

Among the new duties established for construction superintendents is to: supervise compliance with building regulations; ensure there is always somebody charged with safety supervision at the jobsite; properly reporting accidents, damages, and other worksite conditions to the Department of Buildings; promptly address unsafe conditions; ensuring that the work proceeds according to plans; and conducting routine jobsite inspections. 

As important as these changes are, critics have said that the rules still do not adequately address safety oversight. The contention is that construction superintendents have their attention divided between job progress and safety rather than retaining a sole focus on safety. Given the broad scope of what a construction superintendent is responsible for, it may still be too easy for safety matters to be neglected.

Construction workers and contractors obviously rely on construction superintendents to ensure safe conditions at jobsites, but also to ensure that employees and contractors are complying with safety rules and regulations in their work. When a worker is injured on a job site due to a superintendent’s failure to ensure safe conditions, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible and consult with an experienced attorney to determine the options in terms of seeking compensation


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