This post was authored by Jonathan Schaefer, who is a member of Robinson+Cole’s Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group. Jon focuses his practice on environmental compliance counseling, occupational health and safety, permitting, site remediation, and litigation related to federal and state regulatory programs.

The results of a recently published study show that construction workers in Texas were more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to the general population. An equally problematic finding is that the increased hospitalization of construction workers resulted in greater community spread of COVID-19. This study and its findings are a much-needed reminder to stay vigilant and continue to monitor and enforce COVID-19 safety precautions and guidelines.
Continue Reading Study Findings Reinforce Need for Construction Industry to Stay Vigilant and Committed to COVID-19 Restrictions and Protecting Workers

This post was co-authored with Jonathan Schaefer, who is a member of Robinson+Cole’s Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group. Jon focuses his practice on environmental compliance counseling, occupational health and safety, permitting, site remediation, and litigation related to federal and state regulatory programs.
Continue Reading OSHA’s COVID-19 Guidelines for the Construction Industry are Generally Consistent with New York State’s and New York City’s Existing Guidelines

COVID-19’s impact in New York has been particularly region-specific. To address the disparity, Governor Cuomo created a four-phase reopening plan to be implemented where geographic regions meet their required “health metrics.”

Each phase correlates with a group of industries in which their non-essential businesses may permit the return of their in-person workforce – under certain conditions – in qualifying regions. (As of the date of this publication, the regions that have qualified based on their health metrics are the Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier and Western New York.) Construction is one of the industries comprising “Phase One.”

Construction companies within an eligible region may reopen so long as they satisfy the specific construction industry health and safety guidelines in four categories: physical distancing, protective equipment, cleaning and hygiene, and communication. The guidelines outline the mandatory requirements and provide additional recommended “best practices,” as follows:
Continue Reading New York’s Multi-Faceted Approach to Reopening “Non-Essential” Construction

Why it might be time to reconsider permitting the use of drones for development & construction in dense urban areas

Excerpt of a contributed article published in Construction Business Owner magazine on May 19, 2020.

COVID-19’s severe impact on some major metropolitan areas has been attributed to their density, infrastructure and inherent difficulty with

This post was published by High Profile magazine on May 27, 2020.

Governor Charlie Baker announced today that all construction projects in Massachusetts may reopen immediately, provided contractors and owners comply with new safety guidelines and compliance documentation requirements. These new requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:
Continue Reading Massachusetts Construction Projects May Reopen Immediately, Governor Announces; Boston to Follow May 25th

In the wake of the tragic death of architect Erica Tishman, who was killed by falling debris from a brick tower in midtown Manhattan in December 2019 , the New York Department of Buildings (DOB) amended its rules governing exterior wall inspections and repairs. The new rules went into effect on February 20, 2020. Known as the Local Law 11 inspections, the Façade Inspection & Safety Program (FISP) has undergone extensive amendments in an effort to address the increasing number of dangerous façade conditions including corroded masonry and fractured terra cotta which in addition to causing structural problems, can loosen and fall to the ground causing bodily harm or property damage.

This issue is a growing concern. During the past six years, more than 4,790 Environmental Control Board violations related to facades were issued of which more than half remain active.[i] The DOB reported more than 22,000 violations related to facades since 2014.[ii]
Continue Reading NYC Amends Its Façade Inspection and Safety Program to Push Building Owners into Action

As all members of the construction industry know, the prevention of the occurrence of work-related injuries and illnesses is a constant concern, and one that can have serious implications for the various contractual relationships on a construction project. To address these concerns, construction industry employers often implement incentive programs to award both the reporting of injuries or illnesses and the lack of occurrence of reportable incidents. In addition, both before and after injuries or illnesses occur, many employers have drug testing policies which are implemented with the goals of preventing and/or discovering the causes of work-related injuries and illnesses.
Continue Reading OSHA Clarifies Position On Anti-Retaliation Rule