SENATE, No. 2183
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED JUNE 12, 1997
By Senator MATHEUSSEN
An Act concerning construction site safety officers and supplementing P.L.1975, c.217 (C.52:27D-119 et seq).
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. The Legislature finds and declares that it is necessary to promote the health, safety and welfare of individuals engaged in construction activity while promoting the health, safety and welfare of the public. It is the intent of this act to mandate the designation by contractors of site safety officers who shall be legally responsible for the enforcement of all site safety requirements.
2. As used in this act:
"Contractor" means a person, company or corporation engaged to perform a construction activity for a governmental agency, private developer or other party.
"Construction activity" means the improvement, expansion or repair of an existing site improvement, building or facility or the construction of a new site improvement, building or facility.
"Site safety officer" means a person certified to possess knowledge of applicable site safety practices and designated by the contractor pursuant to section 3 of this act. The person shall be capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards, including the lack of personal protective measures in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees.
"Site safety practices" means all applicable federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to occupational safety and health, and the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
3. a. Each contractor shall designate a site safety officer. In the case of multiple contractors present on the same work site, a single site safety officer shall be designated to be responsible for the enforcement of all site safety practices.
b. The site safety officer shall:
(1) be responsible for the effective enforcement of all site safety practices;
(2) make appropriate changes to work site conditions including, but not limited to, measures which may include stopping work in order to correct or eliminate a hazardous condition, and giving appropriate direction to employees of the contractor and any other parties on the site, including members of the public;
(3) ensure that all persons present on the work site possess adequate training in site safety practices; and
(4) report and respond to appropriate public agencies regarding hazardous conditions at the work site.
4. a. The issuance of a construction permit shall be conditioned on contractor certification to the enforcing agency or construction official that the person designated as the site safety officer has received sufficient training to perform assigned duties.
b. The contractor shall verify compliance with this section by preparing a written certification record. This record shall contain the name or other identity of the employee trained, the dates of the training, and the signature of the person who conducted the training or the signature of the contractor if different. If the contractor relies on training conducted by another contractor or completed prior to the effective date of this act, the certification record shall indicate the date the contractor determined the prior training was adequate rather than the date of the actual training. A copy of the latest training certification shall be maintained for the municipality in which the site is located. Training and certification shall be in accordance with any federal and state requirements for site safety practices.
5. The Commissioner of Community Affairs may promulgate, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations necessary to effectuate this act.
6. This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month after enactment.
This bill is designed to reduce occupational injuries and deaths at construction work sites by assigning responsibility for identifying existing and predictable hazards on such sites to a knowledgeable person designated by the contractor. This person, who would be known as a "site safety officer," would be authorized to take prompt, corrective measures to correct or eliminate hazards.
The site safety officer also would be responsible for ensuring that workers at the construction site have been properly trained in site safety practices. He also must serve as the contractor's liaison to government agencies on safety matters.
The issuance of a construction permit would be contingent on action by the contractor to certify the sufficiency of the training of the site safety officer. A written certification record of training must be maintained for municipal inspection.
Requires trained site safety officer at construction site prior to issuance of construction permit.