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City Tech Cuts Ribbon on New Construction Safety Lab

Inaugurating City Tech’s new construction safety lab are, from left to right: Marc Bianco, vice president-professional development and compliance, American Safety Consultants; Carol Sonnenblick, dean of continuing education, City Tech; Henry Lombardi, chief operating officer, Allied North America; City Tech President Russell K. Hotzler; Orlando Cordero, executive vice president, American Safety Consultants; John Frizalone, director of client services, Allied North America; and Anthony Ruvio, director, City Tech Academy for Construction Education and Safety. Photo credit: Rafal Ostrowski.

The city just got a little safer with the introduction of a new construction safety facility at City Tech, which will allow construction workers to get hands-on safety training on full-sized scaffolding equipment.

The College has collaborated with American Safety Consultants, LLC, a division of Allied North America, on this training facility, which “promotes Mayor Bloomberg’s initiatives for construction safety,” according to Carol Sonnenblick, dean of City Tech’s Division of Continuing Education.

“We thought it was important to make this investment for several reasons, with the first being that safety training can save lives,” said Anthony Ruvio, director of City Tech’s Academy for Construction Education and Safety, at the facility’s ribbon cutting on October 19.

The new classroom is a lecture-lab hybrid of a "smart classroom" with multimedia and internet capability and a construction lab that includes full-sized equipment. The classroom is a crucial step in steering safety curricula from less-interactive lecture-based training (typically found in the field) to a seamless combination of engaging multimedia, useful website references, and most-importantly, hands-on training.

“By having the capability to offer hands-on training on full-size equipment, we have been able to expand our curriculum,” Ruvio said. “For example, suspended scaffold training is now required to be carried out on full-sized equipment.” City Tech’s new facility includes supported and suspended scaffold setups, confined space entry equipment, a Level B Hazmat Suit, air quality tester and various pieces of safety equipment and miniature models.

City Tech Division of Continuing Education construction safety students attaching a stirrup to a suspended scaffold platform. Photo credit: Anthony Ruvio.

The academy, which expects to serve 5,000 students in the coming year, was established by City Tech’s Division of Continuing Education in 2006. Originally a response to the demand for supported scaffold safety training, it has branched out to offer more than 40 different safety-related courses to employees of the smallest privately-owned ventures to the largest of construction firms. Courses are geared to both union and non-union members.

The creation of the academy’s state-of-the-art lecture-lab attests to City Tech’s commitment to raising the bar on workforce training, Dean Sonnenblick noted. Safety-compliance training is mandated by the Office of Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the New York City Department of Buildings or various other authorities before working with certain equipment and/or moving into such job titles as construction super or site safety manager.


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