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NYC buildings department launches worker safety campaign (2/5)

February 5, 2009
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Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri joined Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Guillermo Linares, representatives from the City’s leading construction firms, industry unions and worker advocacy groups Tuesday to announce the launch of a citywide worker safety campaign to encourage construction workers to properly wear their safety harnesses at all times while working at a construction site, according to a press release.

Thousands of posters, banners and brochures — in English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Hindi and Urdu — will be distributed throughout the City, including high-rise construction sites, designated worker centers, union halls, community centers, telephone kiosks, and the Buildings Department’s five borough offices.

In 2008, 84 workers were injured on a construction site as a result of a fall, a 121% increase compared to the previous year, highlighting the need for greater safety awareness on the job site. Of those injuries, more than half were due to human error. Eight of 19 construction-related deaths in 2008 were the result of a worker falling.

The campaign’s slogan — “If you fall, they fall too” — focuses on the negative impact that a serious injury or death of a construction worker can have on the well-being of his or her family. The campaign will include advertisements in major and local newspapers, as well as public radio and television advertisements in the near future.

Later this year, the department will host its fifth annual Construction Safety Week, a week-long series of free educational seminars and outreach events designed to increase worker awareness of safe construction practices, including how to properly wear and use a safety harness on a construction site.

Eleven representatives from the city’s busiest construction firms, industry unions, worker advocacy groups and OSHA have committed to distributing materials and displaying campaign posters and banners at their construction sites, offices and worker centers throughout the city. The department will continue to provide campaign materials to various companies and groups over the coming weeks.

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