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Peter Simon’s Goal with CUNY to Improve Safety and Health

Peter Simon

Peter Simon, TSC’s Certified Safety Professional, presented an analysis of a potential bill proposal to further ensure the safety of workers and to reduce injuries and fatalities. This presentation was at CUNY’s School of Public Health.

Objective of the Presentation’s Analysis

The analysis of field research data that Simon presented to the class was to provide insight into the construction industry, with perceptions on proposed legislative interventions that would make NYC construction sites safer for workers. This included introducing a bill that aims to improve safety measures, with this bill being proposed and assigned to the proper committee to be reviewed. This bill would then have to go through public meetings, multiple voting periods, and approval by the Mayor of New York.

The data analyzed in this paper was collected during CUNY fieldwork in connection with the Construction Safety Advisory Committee of New York (CSAC), a non-profit dedicated to representing safety & health professionals. In 2017, one of the main focuses of CSAC was making recommendations, providing testimony and professional insight related to the NYC Construction Safety Act, a group of approximately 20 bills aimed to improve NYC construction safety.  The Construction Safety Act was, in part, a legislative response to 36 worker fatalities at NYC construction sites in a three-year period. 

Method of Data Gathering

A ten question electronic email survey hosted by SurveyMonkey was distributed to 24,935 construction industry worker email addresses.  The addresses were from CSAC member company databases and each company distributed the survey independently. These results were shared with both the NYC Council and Industry Regulators.

Results of the Survey

CSAC reported email distribution totaled 24,935 emails with a 226 total response (0.009%).  The vast majority (96.9%) responded in English (as opposed to Spanish) and 64% of respondents had a job title that was associated with safety. There were many highlights of the presentation 92% of respondents concluded that safety professional involvement would increase overall safety of construction sites, with 91% of respondents also stating that safety professional input would improve overall safety of sites under ten stories.

Conclusions and Insight

The conclusion of the data in this presentation was that there was an overwhelming agreement that a site safety professional would improve the safety of construction sites. However, the data also concluded that pressure from Construction Superintendents to finish jobs on time and within budget is a primary factor to ignoring safety procedures on construction sites. In these situations, safety is often overshadowed by the need to finish projects on time and to not exceed the given budget of the project.

The survey feedback also indicated that legislative interventions should include:

  • Involvement of a dedicated safety professional on active construction sites.
  • Production staff could have an inherent conflict of interest between production goals and safety requirements with production taking priority.
  • Current baseline safety training requirements for low-rise construction sites and the adequacy of 10 Hour OSHA as baseline training are not sufficient.

Total Safety Consulting strives to improve the safety of construction sites and protect workers from potential hazards. Peter Simon’s presentation with CUNY represents the team performing academic research in order to improve the safety and health of sites across New York City.

Full Presentation can be found here.

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