by Brianna Crandall — October 26, 2016 — Of interest to facilities managers who may want to help speed along renovation or building projects underway at their facilities, an inventive new Web site was recently launched with the goal of making major construction work progress safely and more efficiently. SafetyCoverage.com is an online subscription-based Web site specifically created to connect contractors and developers with construction site safety professionals in New York City, although it could serve as an impetus for similar programs in other cities and for other industries.
New York City is in the early stages of arguably the largest construction boom since the 2008 recession, notes Keen Ventures, creator of the program. New York has some of the tallest and most complex buildings in the world, constructed in comparatively miniscule footprints. It also has some of the strictest building codes in the country. Construction-related accidents and deaths involving the public and construction workers are a major concern for regulators and the industry at large.
The Web site allows major building (over 10 stories) developers, contractors, construction management and other construction-related firms to find on-demand access to one of the scarcest human commodity in the NYC construction industry: site safety managers (SSM), coordinators (SSC) and other construction site safety professionals.
Currently the demand for construction site safety professionals is at an all-time high, with no significant increase in supply due to the lengthy NYC Department of Building vetting process and strict qualification requirements, points out Keen Ventures. According to the NYC Department of Buildings License Unit, at the start of October 2016, there were 1,092 active licensed Construction Site Safety Managers, 129 Construction Site Safety Coordinators, and 515 Concrete Safety Managers.
Further reducing these numbers is the fact that many licensed individuals are primarily employed as superintends, project managers, engineers and in other capacities and not actually utilizing their safety licenses, points out the company. Compare these numbers to the thousands of façade (LL11/FISP), renovations and new construction projects in progress or in the pipeline, and there is obviously a deficit. Many major building projects are unable to break ground because there must be a designated safety professional connected to the project in order to “pull” a permit for a major building, notes Keen Ventures.
Many safety professionals work for third-party safety companies, and they are overwhelmed with work, says the company. Paradoxically, some safety professionals who work independently reportedly cannot find work due to the lack of connections and relationships with developers and contractors in need of their services. The SafetyCoverage.com subscription based model aims to leverage technology to solve several of these problems.
With the SafetyCoverage.com Web/mobile platform the goal is to maximize use of the existing licenses, especially where emergency, short-term and after-hours coverage is needed. The creators, a licensed SSM and a licensed Construction Manager, are also planning an application-based platform for smart phones and portable devices that would allow greater connectivity while in the field. Long-term coverage will also be provided for companies looking to hire a safety professional directly. Traditional third-party-site safety companies can also benefit from this Web site by finding short-term coverage to relieve/cover their staff when the need arises.
SafetyCoverage.com is offering a 30-day free trial period to both safety professionals and companies to try the services. At the end of the trial period, Safetycoverage.com offers both a six-month and a one-year membership package. The creators believe that technology can be used to more efficiently utilize limited human resources in the unique NYC construction industry.