Falling bricks. Rickety scaffolding. An errant nail and an unsuspecting foot. Things can go wrong in renovation and restoration projects no matter what the size and scale of the work at hand. Whether the job is tackling a new façade on a high-rise or putting new shingles on a townhome, anything can happen. That’s why state and local governments put so much effort and energy into ensuring the safety of passers-by and why co-op and condo managers turn eagle-eyed and protective of their residents when large projects loom.
When it comes to ensuring resident safety, the keys are inevitably cooperation, communication and foresight. Staying ahead of the curve and taking all necessary precautions can save a lot of headaches—and potential pain—down the road, both of which are good news to unit owners and management alike.
The Safety Net
Over the years as development in the tri-state area has expanded, state and local governmental entities have grown to keep pace. In New Jersey, it’s the state’s Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Codes and Standards that establishes and enforces building codes to protect the health and safety of residents.
With the surge in building that went on for much of the last two decades—as well as more recent incidents, including the tragic crane accidents earlier this year—new and increased efforts have been put into play across the region to enhance and increase safety protocols and procedures. Over the years, arguments have been laid out against such laws, claiming they are too restrictive and ultimately lead to an increased liability insurance burden that must be carried by contractors, which adds building costs throughout the region.
Regulations enacted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are designed to protect workers but also can enhance the safety of those around the project.