City to Begin Implementing Ordinance to Ensure Safety on Construction and Demolition Sites
The City of Boston today announced the upcoming implementation of the Safe Construction and Demolition Operations Ordinance. The ordinance builds on the City’s goal of ensuring that all construction and demolition operations in Boston are conducted in a manner that protects the health, welfare, and safety of workers and the public. This work is the culmination of the collaborative efforts among the City of Boston, developers, contractors, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and health and safety advocates.
“Every worker deserves to return home safe and healthy each day,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. "The implementation of this important ordinance will help ensure that every family can count on work environments centering health and safety, thanks to our partners and community members leading the way on a comprehensive approach to worker safety.”
Beginning December 1, 2023, the ordinance will require construction and demolition sites in Boston seeking a permit with the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) to:
- submit a Site Safety Plan Affidavit,
- implement a project-specific Site Safety Plan
- implement a Site Safety Monitoring Plan that includes Site Safety Orientations, Pre-Shift Safety Meetings, and a Site Safety Coordinator on larger projects.
By requiring permit applicants to identify potential hazards and implement a plan to protect workers on site and the public, this ordinance will play a vital role in protecting public safety and ensuring that construction and demolition operations in the City are carried out in a safe manner. To ensure that workers have equitable access to these protections, permit holders are required to conduct Site Safety Orientations and Pre-Shift Safety Meetings in a language workers understand.
“I am very proud to live in a City where our Mayor believes that even one worker fatality is too many, and that we must do all we can to ensure that every worker goes home to their families alive and well,” said Deputy Chief of Worker Empowerment Jodi Sugerman-Brozan. “The concept is simple: tragedies can be prevented by ensuring that we identify potential hazards on every site (to workers and the public), that we create and implement plans to protect workers and the public from those hazards, and that workers get the health and safety training they need and deserve - in a language they understand.”
The ordinance gives ISD the much-needed enforcement capacity it has previously lacked. ISD can now issue violations, stop work, revoke permits, and impose fines up to $300 on permit holders, developers, general contractors/construction managers, and subcontractors found to be in non-compliance with the ordinance. Moreover, the ISD building inspectors, Boston Residents Jobs Policy Construction Monitors and the Clerks of the Works underwent OSHA 30-Hour training to build their capacity to identify and remedy unsafe working conditions.
“This ordinance gives my department the necessary tools needed to not only ensure a safe work environment but also protect the general public from hazards as well,” said ISD Commissioner Sean Lydon. “Prior to enforcement, Building Officials will be instrumental in providing the tools and training needed to ensure compliance.”
The City’s role goes beyond enforcement by providing critical training, tools, and resources to ensure the successful implementation of the ordinance. Notably, the Worker Empowerment Cabinet is hosting a series of webinars to inform permit applicants and contractors about the ordinance requirements and compliance. The schedule is as follows:
- October 24, 2023, 6 - 7 p.m.
- November 1, 2023, 6 - 7 p.m.
- November 14, 2023, 6 - 7 p.m.
- November 29, 2023, 6 - 7 p.m.
Additionally, the Cabinet will offer free OSHA 30-Hour health and safety training for Site Safety Coordinators to ensure that they have the credentials required by the ordinance. The Cabinet will also provide resources for workers to educate them on their rights under the ordinance, how to exercise them, and how to file a complaint on non-compliant employers.
The City has created a Steering Committee to continue the collaborative process through which the City developed the Safe Construction and Demolition Operations Ordinance. The Committee will work to ensure that the City, its workers, and its businesses benefit from the collective expertise and experience of workers, advocates, experts, and industry as the ordinance moves to implementation and becomes effective December 1, 2023.
For more information on the ordinance and the tools and resources available, visit boston.gov/construction-safety.