(New York City) - They’re not often known to the public, but among the City’s busiest construction professionals are the tradesmen quietly restoring New York City’s aging skyline – they are licensed special riggers. They’re found on suspended scaffolds high atop skyscrapers repairing crumbling facades, fireproofing and waterproofing buildings, installing new roofs, and much more.
Recently, six industry experts joined forces to form a new professional trade association, the New York City Special Riggers Association (NYCSRA). Their mission is to represent and advocate for NYCSRA members before NYC regulatory agencies and legislative leaders to ensure reforms that support the industry but also make safety for workers and the public a priority.
The Association is led by John Pantanelli of Swing Staging, LLC, along with fellow board members Ken Buettner of York Scaffold, Inc., Matt Jaworski of Brend Renovation Corp., Joe McCallion of Upgrade Contracting Company, Dan Wacks of Urban DC, Inc., and John Kalafatis of Skyline Restoration, Inc.. These licensed, trained professionals are industry leaders who have worked on some of the largest projects in the city, including The Empire State Building, Woolworth Building, New Yorker Hotel and The MacIntyre, which was a recipient of the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award.
While the founding members are all licensed special riggers, association growth has been increasingly driven by construction professionals engaged in all modes of the industry seeking a strong advocate on issues directly affecting their ability to compete in a fair marketplace and ensure safe work environments. The group is now comprised of members representing thousands of exterior façade workers, and newly created an associate membership category to meet the requests of site safety managers, architects, engineers, building managers and owners, insurance and legal professionals, manufacturers, and suppliers who expressed interest in membership.
With a growing and diverse membership base, NYCSRA has developed a formidable lobbying presence in New York City, as evidenced by their recent testimony at the NYC Council Housing and Buildings Hearing on site safety, and their ability to secure a panel of NYC Department of Buildings experts for an upcoming July 30th forum.
“We have been very focused on effectively educating elected officials and regulators on how existing code and proposed new laws impact our business,” said Pantanelli. “There is a tremendous need for engagement between all parties, and we’re making that happen through an industry-led approach.”
The July 30th forum will focus on changes to the NYC Building Code Chapter 33 with keynote speaker Robert D’Alessio, Senior Executive Director of Construction Safety for NYC Department of Buildings. The event, hosted by NYCSRA, will take place at Club 101 near Grand Central Station, and includes cocktails, dinner, and networking. Space is limited but seats are still available. For more information about NYCSRA or to attend the event, visit www.nycsra.org.