What is required, what is forbidden and what is now changing in construction in New York? Here's a look at the new laws, trends and issues affecting the construction market in NY.
SCOTUS Blocks Vaccine Mandate
The US Supreme Court has blocked the rule that would have required vaccine mandate or weekly testing at all companies with 100 or more employees. CNN says that decisions on vaccine mandates are now up to individual companies – although companies still have to comply with local laws and OSHA requirements. As of December 27, New York City has a vaccine requirement for certain workers. Vaccine mandates continue to be controversial. According to Construction Dive, 75% of unvaccinated workers say vaccine mandates can make them quit.
New Construction faces gas ban
New York City has passed a law banning gas use in new construction. According to the Architectural Record, the new requirement will enter into force in 2024 for buildings shorter than seven storeys, and it will enter into force in 2027 for other buildings. At least 66 other jurisdictions, mostly in California, have enacted similar laws in recent years in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More bans may come. E&E News reports that a state ban is now being considered in New York.
Demolition accidents prove fatal
According to the Engineering New-Record, at least six fatal demolition-related accidents occurred during the first half of 2021. One of these involved Richmond Construction, a New York based construction company. According to Safety Reports, an investigation found that the contractor failed to provide and ensure the use of fall protection. OSHA has cited Richmond Construction for nine intentional, repeated and serious violations, with proposed penalties totaling $ 374,000.
OSHA's Top 10 Most Cited Standards
OSHA has released its top 10 most cited standards for fiscal year 2021. Occupation Health & Safety are the 10 best standards:
- Fall protection, general requirements (29 CFR 1926.501)
- Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
- Ladders.1529 CFR, construction (3929 CFR, construction (3929) ) 19659011] Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
- Hazard Communication Standard, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.1200)
- Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout / Tagout)
- General requirements (9101 CFR 1910.1201)
- Fall protection – training requirements (29 CFR 1926.503)
- Eye and face protection (29 CFR 1926.102)
- Operated industrial trucks, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.178)
- Machinery and Machine Surveillance, general requirements (29 CFR 1910 .212)
As expected, many standards relevant to the construction industry were included in the list, including fall protection, ladders and scaffolding. Construction is one of the worst industries for occupational injuries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that construction, extraction, transportation, and materials moving accounted for nearly half of all workplace deaths by 2020.
Material Prices Remain High
According to Construction Dive, an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America (ACG) ) shows that prices charged by manufacturers and service providers increased by 0.5% in December and 19.6% in 2021. Many materials, including plastics, timber, plywood and steel products, have seen sharp price increases in recent months. ACG warns that these high prices could hinder the recovery of the construction industry and wants the administration to reconsider the increased tariffs on softwood.
The construction market in New York is constantly changing, but the need for strong risk management remains the same. BNC can help you control your risks with an insurance policy designed for construction exposures. Read more.