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Commissioner Melanie La Rocca at NYCSRA'S Annual Technical Event with DOB

A record-breaking full house of contractors, vendors, safety professionals, architects, engineers and many more from the construction and design community filled the main dining room at Club 101 in Manhattan on October 10, to hear the new DOB Commissioner and a team of high-level DOB representatives speak at the annual Technical Event hosted by the NYC Special Riggers Association (NYCSRA).

Commissioner Melanie La Rocca (photo) thanked all for coming and for the vitally important work they perform daily for the City.

“Your success is our success,” she said, stressing that “Our goal is to ensure that all New Yorkers are in a safe space.”

DOB representatives Patrick Wehle, Assistant Commissioner, External Affairs; Bernie Ross, Director of Construction Safety Enforcement; and Geoff Eisele, P.E., Executive Engineer of Safety Operations, answered a multitude of probing questions including:

Will the December 1 deadline for training required under Local Law 196 be extended?

A: The DOB has no intention of moving back the date. The numbers we’re getting regarding training are encouraging. We regularly monitor course providers.

Will standardized SST (Site Safety Training) cards be issued by a single provider?

A: The recognized course providers are adhering to the rules set for SST cards. Further down the road there may be one organization issuing all cards.

The Building Code currently used is from 2014. When will there be a new one?

A: The hope is that a comprehensive code revision will be made by the end of 2020.

What role do the new DOB units play now that the B.E.S.T. Squad no longer exists?

A: The Construction Safety Compliance Unit proactively inspects on a regular basis; the Construction Safety Enforcement Unit responds to complaints.

Representatives also reminded the group that a violation results in fines for the owner, permit holder and subcontractor.

If a worker forgets to bring his or her card to a site one day, will a violation and fine be issued?
A: Yes, but that can be corrected if it can be proved that the worker has the required training and the appropriate card.


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