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New York City Cracks Down on Dangerous Construction Sites

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

The City of New York’s Department of Buildings has shut down 320 construction sites around the city because of dangerous conditions.  The crackdown is part of the city’s “Zero Tolerance” safety sweeps of the city’s larger and more complex construction sites.The agency says the crackdown was in response to a number of construction deaths that happened earlier this year and the number of sites shut down could still rise.

Since these sweeps started earlier in June, the DOC has already conducted safety inspections at more than 2,100 of NYC’s larger and more complex building construction sites. They have shut down work at 322 of these construction sites with full and partial stop work orders and issued over 1,129 violations for safety issues and code non-compliance issues at these work sites. 

The two-year report, which is set to be released on Monday, provides an analysis of major building construction incidents in the past two years. The crackdown was in response to several construction deaths that happened earlier this year, according to the DOB.  

As the Big Apple opens up after the pandemic shutdown, construction has risen sharply in the city and fatal construction accidents have marred the first months of new construction work. 

In June 2021, the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB) announced it would conduct zero tolerance sweeps across the five boroughs to ensure safety for both workers and the public at construction sites.

While performing the sweeps, DOB inspectors will issue enforcement actions, including shutting down sites, if they observe any safety violations. Contractors who are found to be putting their workers at risk could face penalties up to $25,000 for each construction safety violation.

The crackdown on dangerous construction sites is ongoing but the impact of having 320 sites shut down for dangerous conditions is bound to have a beneficial ripple effect across the construction industry in the city.

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