Construction NEWS


Annual CIC-NYSDOT Region 8
Construction Safety Seminar Held

HYDE PARK, NY—The annual CIC/NYSDOT Region 8 Safety Seminar held at the Culinary Institute of America here on Tues., Jan. 30, drew a record attendance of more than 150 contractors, union officials, and safety experts for the daylong program. The topics covered over the years include silica awareness, excavation safety, confined space hazards, FMCSA regulation and drug testing advancement as well as temporary traffic controls.

This year’s topics expanded from there to include a particular focus on disaster recovery efforts in the wake of the devastating flooding from torrential rainfalls in September. This year’s program also demonstrated the strong commitment to safety within the Hudson Valley construction community given the record turnout spanning the 30-year history of the program. It was a testament to the growing focus on safety among members of the trade association, organizers said.

The seminar commenced with welcoming remarks from the CIC’s Matthew Pepe and his introductions of Nikhil Natarajan, deputy director of NYSDOT Region 8. Mr. Natarajan provided a comprehensive 2023 overview of Region 8’s activities, with a particular focus on the disastrous flooding and damage to the region’s infrastructure. His insights into the challenges and achievements of the past year set a reflective and forward-thinking tone for the day’s discussions.

The educational portion of the seminar was notably enriched by the expertise of Emmett Russell and Robinson Vasquez from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). Their presentations covered a range of crucial topics, including Internal and External Traffic Control, Flagging and Spotting, as well as addressing occupational hazards like Heat Hazards and over-exertion. The depth and variety of subjects presented by the ARTBA instructors were both informative and instrumental in broadening the understanding of safety practices within the industry.

Closing remarks by Mr. Pepe urged participants to bring their knowledge back to the job site and use it as a teaching tool in their respective companies. “Both NYSDOT Region 8 and ARTBA made invaluable contributions and their collaborations play a pivotal role in advancing our collective knowledge and commitment to safety,” Mr. Pepe added.

Both CIC and ARTBA will survey attendees for comments and suggestions on ways to improve the program for next year in January 2025. “Your feedback is crucial in shaping a seminar that truly reflects the needs and interests of our contracting community,” Mr. Pepe concluded.

Photos above:

Row 1 left – DOT Region 8 Deputy Director Nikhil Natarajan presented a year in review to construction contractors and union agents.

Row 1 middle – From left, ARTBA’s Emmert Russell and Robinson Vasquez, who provided instruction on heat hazards and over-exertion.

Row 1 right – ARTBA’s Emmett Russell discussed resources available to bolster safe worker habits and behavior.

Row 2 left – From left, NYSDOT Region 8 Deputy Director Nikhil Natarajan, Moderator Matthew Pepe of the BCA, and NYSDOT Region 8 Construction Engineer Greg Bendell.

Row 2 right – ARTBA’s Emmett Russell and the crowd of 150+ go through an interactive instruction on hand signals when flagging and spotting.

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