ACEC NY Safety Committee creates COVID-19 guidance - by Jay Simson

May 05, 2020 - Owners Developers & Managers
Jay Simson, CAE

On March 31st, 2020, ACEC New York chair, Thomas Cascino, PE, announced the formation of a safety committee that will help identify and update best practices for design professionals who must remain working at job sites or in the office. 

“During this crisis, emergency personnel need to rely on efficient transportation and mobility to perform their jobs, and all New Yorkers need access to clean water and reliable waste systems. It is incumbent upon ACEC New York to help our member firms keep those employees supporting this critical infrastructure as safe as possible.”

The committee is comprised of professionals from a variety of disciplines related to the built environment:

  • John Grady, Ravi Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C.;
  • Quaiser Hashmi, ATANE Design and Construction Consultants;
  • David Kliwinski, STV Group;
  • Douglas Lorie, STV Group;
  • Greg Luger, AECOM;
  • Doug Maas, Cosentini Associates, Inc.;
  • Ryan Stecher, Jaros, Baum & Bolles;
  • Michael Vardaro, Zetlin & De Chiara LLP; and
  • Carl Sall, WSP USA.

The ACEC New York Safety Committee has compiled recommended guidance on COVID-19 for design and construction industry professionals on job sites/in the field, in the office and in other areas where work is performed. 

This guidance has been taken from a variety of sources, including expertise from member firms, federal guidelines (CDC, OSHA), state guidelines (Office of the Governor, Office of the Mayor), as well as from public agencies and key organizations essential to the built environment.

The goal of this document is to share best practices related to protecting the health and safety of our workers, our colleagues and the public we interact with in our professional capacities. This document will be updated as new information and guidelines are shared. While this document provides suggested guidance for our member organizations, it does not take the place of medical advice or governmental directives and decrees.

Identifying best practices and implementing lessons learned are the cornerstones of establishing, maintaining and updating recommended guidelines for employees to stay safe at home, in the office, on job sites or traveling between any of the aforementioned locations. By using data from governmental agencies, including the CDC, this guidance will be updated based on facts and science.

Members of the committee will continue to meet as often as necessary to serve the needs of the industry. Information will be made widely available to all of our partners in the public and private sector.

“We can utilize the talent and knowledge within our industry to help get the economy back on track safely,” said Cascino. “Engineers have an obligation to life, health and safety, and this is just one small part. I can’t thank the committee members enough for how quickly and thoroughly they addressed this. This isn’t just an ACEC New York member benefit; it’s an industry benefit.”

The guidance document and other COVID-19 resources can be found on the ACEC New York website (acecny.org/covid-19-safety).

ACEC New York is a proactive coalition representing nearly 300 member firms who engage in every discipline of engineering related to the built environment including civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, environmental, and geotechnical. Our shared goals are to further the business interests of our membership, enhance the quality and safety of the environment we live and work in, and help ensure the vitality of our communities. For more information, visit www.acecny.org.

Jay Simson, CAE, is president & CEO, ACEC New York, Albany, N.Y.

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