Repairing facades can be dangerous. Many construction workers died or were injured while repairing facades in New York without counting the multiple close calls where workers find themselves dangling out of suspended scaffolds like the worker in the below video who was lucky he could get back on. Sometimes workers are left dangling in the air until FDNY comes to the rescue.
The NYC DOT recorded 4 deaths and 61 injuries related to accidents during facade work since 2015 and recently released a worker alert to raise awareness about the danger of using a suspended scaffold to repair facades.
Here are a few steps that workers should follow to reduce the risk of accident when doing facade repair
- Do not step foot on a scaffold if you do not have the necessary training. Workers on supported scaffolds are required by law to have 4 hours of training yearly and workers on suspended scaffolds are required to attend a yearly training of 16 hours.
- Fall protection must be provided by your contractor and worn any time you work on a supported scaffold with no guardrail or on a suspended scaffold. In addition to wearing a harness you also need to be tied-off to a secure life-line.
- Removing coping stones of damaged parapet must only be done if requested by a supervisor.
- Make sure to demolish a parapet wall in sequence from the copping down. Always make sure that parapet walls next to the demo do not become unstable.
- Check for loose materiel and immediately notify your supervisor if you notice some unstable brick work, parapet, cornice or chimney.
- Secure the tarp properly to avoid debris falling down
- Remember that using stand-off brackets attached to a cornice hook or C-hook is prohibited in New York City. C-Hooks have caused many construction accidents in New York City in the past and they have been prohibited since September 2019.
Read the Worker Alert from the DOT here