In a landmark move toward enhancing construction and demolition safety, the City of Boston is set to implement the Safe Construction and Demolition Operations Ordinance, effective December 1. This groundbreaking regulation mandates a construction safety requirement expansion in Boston that ensures construction and demolition permit applicants submit comprehensive safety plans, conduct regular safety meetings, and appoint safety coordinators to ensure the well-being of both workers and the public.
This new regulation grants the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) in Boston the authority to enforce stringent safety measures. The ISD can issue violations, stop work, revoke permits, and impose fines of up to $300 on permit holders, developers, general contractors, construction managers, and subcontractors found to be in non-compliance with the ordinance. The increased enforcement capacity is a crucial step forward in fostering a culture of safety across construction sites in the city.
Origins of the Ordinance:
The announcement of the Safe Construction and Demolition Operations Ordinance comes on the heels of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu signing the new Construction Safety Ordinance on June 1. This move was prompted by a series of unfortunate accidents on construction sites in the city, highlighting the urgent need for stronger enforcement and heightened safety measures.
Training and Resources for Stakeholders:
Recognizing the significance of education and preparation, Boston is not just stopping at enforcement. The city is actively involved in providing extensive training, tools, and resources for stakeholders. The Worker Empowerment Cabinet, a government agency dedicated to enhancing Boston’s workforce, will host webinars on November 14 and November 29 to inform permit applicants and contractors about the ordinance requirements and compliance.
The initiative doesn’t end there; resources will also be allocated to educate workers on their rights, how to exercise those rights and the process of filing complaints against non-compliant employers.
Reducing Construction-Related Injuries:
Boston’s commitment to this ordinance signifies a significant step toward reducing construction-related injuries in the city. According to recent statistics, construction work accounted for nearly 30% of workplace fatalities in 2021. This new regulation aims to reverse this trend and create a safer environment for all involved in construction and demolition projects.
A Nationwide Movement:
Boston is now joining the ranks of other major cities committed to prioritizing worker safety in construction and demolition projects. Examples include New York City’s Local Law 196, which mandates OSHA training for workers, Los Angeles’ construction safety regulations requiring safety plans and inspections, and Chicago’s similar efforts to enhance safety and compliance.