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Rise of the Superintendents

In another effort to improve construction safety, the DOB issued Local Law 81 of 2017 expanding the role of the construction superintendent. The DOB will be requiring construction superintendents on more job types while assigning them more responsibilities. Local Law 81 takes effect on November 6, 2017.

Currently the DOB requires a site safety manager during the construction or demolition of buildings over ten stories high (major buildings). Local Law 81 requires construction superintendents on buildings less than ten stories (except 1 to 3 family homes) that meet any of the following conditions:

  • New building
  • Full building demo, or demo of more than 50% of floor area over 12 months
  • Removal of more than one floor in 12 months
  • Vertical or horizontal enlargement
  • Work requiring special inspections for underpinning
  • Work requiring special inspections for protection of sides of excavations
  • Other jobs posing risk to public or property, determined by commissioner

Superintendent’s Duties

Local Law 81 grants much more responsibility onto the construction superintendent. The construction superintendent must be present each day of work, make sure work complies with approved documents and maintain a log of daily activities.

Construction superintendents are also newly responsible for correction. When they notice unsafe conditions, construction superintendents are to notify those responsible, ensure they correct the condition and record the incident in their daily log.

Local Law 81 makes construction superintendents responsible for all of the conditions listed in BC 3310.8.2.1, which includes unlicensed equipment operators, work without permits, improperly constructed sidewalk sheds and standpipes among other jobsite malfeasance. In the event of an accident to persons or adjoining property, Local Law 81 requires construction superintendents to notify the DOB and record the incident in the daily log.

Competent Person

The construction superintendent is not required to be present at job sites all day, but the newly created “competent person” is. Construction superintendents must designate a competent person to carry out orders, identify dangerous conditions, take corrective measures, report accidents and communicate construction safety instructions to workers.

Local Law 81 assigns disciplinary actions found in ADM 28-401.19 to construction superintendents, including suspension or revocations of license or Certificate of Competence and fines of up to $25,000.

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