New York City Department of Buildings Scaffold & Sidewalk Shed Safety

Scaffold & Sidewalk Shed Safety

Bronx Construction Site Fall Injury Lawyer

To help avoid construction site injuries, the New York City Department of Buildings sets certain requirements for the installation and maintenance of scaffolds and sidewalk sheds at construction sites.

If scaffolds and sidewalk sheds are used improperly, an injury can result from either a fall or a falling object.

If you or someone you love was harmed in a construction fall accident and someone other than your employer was to blame, you could be entitled to receive damages if the third party falls outside of the workers’ compensation system. The New York City construction accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, PC, are skilled at evaluating construction accident claims and can help you determine whether the negligence of a third party caused or contributed to your injuries. Call our firm today at 212-279-2000 or use our online contact form for a free evaluation of your case.

We serve construction accident victims in the Bronx, and all of New York City, including Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Long Island.

The New York City Department of Buildings has issued a safety flyer regarding scaffold and sidewalk safety.

New York City Department of Buildings Scaffold & Sidewalk Shed Safety

The Buildings Department’s Scaffold Safety Team (SST) oversees the installation and use of suspended scaffolds, supported scaffolds and sidewalk sheds to advance the safety of these structures and the workers using them.

Important Reminders Inspections & Maintenance Logs

All suspended scaffolds supported scaffolds and sidewalk sheds must be inspected daily before each use and the results recorded in a log that is kept on site and available at all times (BC 3314.4.3). Failure to perform the daily inspection and maintain the log will result in a violation.

Suspended Scaffolds: The licensed rigger is responsible for maintaining the inspection log. The log must include information about the critical components of the scaffold, including:

  • motors – serial numbers and model type
  • wire rope – size and length
  • platforms – model and serial number (if applicable)
  • braking system – auto descend

Supported Scaffolds: The contractor or permit holder is responsible for maintaining the inspection log.

Sidewalk Sheds: If the shed is being used to support ongoing construction or maintenance work, the contractor on duty will be responsible for the log during business hours. When conducting the inspection of the shed, it is important to check the lighting underneath the shed.

2009 Trends

In 2009, the Scaffold Safety Team performed more than 12,600 inspections of scaffolds and sidewalk sheds in use across the City. During these inspections, the Scaffold

Safety Team issued more than 4,000 ECB violations. Below are the top violating conditions cited during inspections.

Shed did not meet code requirements 718
Failure to provide or post signs at job site  366
No record of daily inspection of suspended 322
Failure to provide approved or accepted plans for the scaffold/shed at the time of inspection 270
Failure notify the Department or obtain a permit prior to using or installing c-hooks or outrigger beams 260


Scaffold and Shed Assembly

When delivering and setting up (and subsequently removing) spanning beams for sidewalk sheds, knuckle boom cranes or boom trucks may be used to put beams in place, as long as the beams are not attached or bolted while suspended from the crane (similar to delivery of materials).

When setting lane closures in front of sidewalk sheds and scaffolds, knuckle boom cranes and boom trucks may be used to set and remove traffic control devices such as jersey barriers.

Suspended Scaffold Required Notification

The Buildings Department must be notified 24 to 48 hours before the use or installation of c-hooks and outrigger beams (BC 3314.1.1). The licensed rigger must call (212) 227- 4416 and provide the location and date of the installation. A unique confirmation number will be issued and must be retained for records. Failure to provide notification will result in a Stop Work Order.

Additional Reminders for Suspended Scaffolds

  • When installing anchorage points to the building for tie backs and lifelines, a pull test of these anchors is required and must be certified and stamped by a licensed professional other than the company that installed the anchors (OSHA 1926.502(15)).
  • When the suspended scaffold is being used for Local Law facade inspections, a sidewalk shed is not required; however, flag persons and danger signs must be in place.

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