- The City of Boston will require construction and demolition permit applications to submit safety plans, conduct safety meetings and appoint safety coordinators to protect workers and the public. Dubbed the Safe Construction and Demolition Operations Ordinance, the regulation takes effect Dec. 1.
- The new requirement gives Boston’s Inspectional Services Department the authority to enforce safety measures, issue violations and impose fines on non-compliant parties, and it also involves extensive training and informational resources for stakeholders.
- The announcement follows Boston Mayor Michelle Wu signing the new Construction Safety Ordinance on June 1, which aimed to strengthen enforcement and enhance safety measures following a series of accidents on construction sites in the city.
The ordinance gives ISD the enforcement capacity to 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.
Along with that increased enforcement ability, the city of Boston will also provide training, tools and resources to ensure the successful implementation of the ordinance. To do this, the Worker Empowerment Cabinet, a government agency tasked with enhancing Boston’s workforce, will host a series of webinars to inform permit applicants and contractors about the ordinance requirements and compliance from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 14 and Nov. 29.
The cabinet will also offer free OSHA 30-hour health and safety training for site safety coordinators to ensure they have the necessary credentials, and will also provide resources to educate workers on their rights, how to exercise rights and how to file a complaint on non-compliant employers.
Boston ordinance mirrors efforts of other US cities
The new ordinance signifies Boston’s increased commitment to reduce construction-related injuries. Construction work in the city accounted for nearly 30% of workplace fatalities in 2021.
With this ordinance, Boston now aligns with other major cities dedicated to ensuring worker safety during construction and demolition projects.
For example, In New York City, local law 196 mandates workers complete OSHA training, while Los Angeles has implemented its own construction safety regulations, such as requiring safety plans and inspections on jobsites. Chicago has made similar moves to enhance safety and compliance in construction, while other cities also have their own set of safety guidelines and regulations for construction and demolition projects.