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DOB issues new virus protocols for contractors

The city’s Department of Buildings has set up a coronavirus protocol for contractors and is moving to reduce foot traffic at its offices through its online infrastructure.

COMMISSIONER MELANIE LA ROCCA

In a message this issued this morning, DOB commissioner Melanie La Rocca said, “The engineers, architects, inspectors, plan examiners, and support staff at the Department play a critical safety function in New York City, which is why the Department offices will remain open. From conducting structural stability investigations to incident response, facade safety inspections to emergency work plans reviews, DOB operations must continue for the safety of all New Yorkers.

“As of today, March 17, the Department has taken the steps to reduce foot traffic in our offices, and to notify construction sites in New York City about proper work site safety:.”

The department has cancelled all Customer Service Nights until further notice.

For licensing and certification. customers are being asked to use drop boxes or mail for certain transactions. A service notice has been posted here with Administrative Enforcement (AEU) and Licensing Units Updates.

Contractors and construction professionals have received an industry-wide notification advising necessary precautions be taken to protect the public and their workers. They have also been provided with the latest DOHMH guidance to limit the spread of COVID-19.

In the event a construction site is closed down by contractors for a prolonged period of time due to illness, cleaning, or merely as a precaution, contractors should first inform the Department by sending an email to COVID-19@buildings.nyc.gov, and take appropriate measures to properly secure the site.  Construction sites closed for a prolonged period of time can themselves pose a hazard if proper maintenance is ignored.

 “While DOB remains open, we expect that these measures will reduce foot traffic in our offices by up to 85 percent.,” said DOB spokesman Andrew Rudansky

“The safety of all New Yorkers is our highest priority, which is why our inspectors are continuing their critical oversight work throughout all five boroughs.

“Over the weekend, we issued an industry wide notification informing active construction sites to follow the latest guidance from the NYC Department of Health on the spread of COVID-19, and how to secure their sites if they are shut down for prolonged periods due to cleaning or because of a pause in work. We will continue to closely monitor the situation, and will issue further guidance to the industry as needed.”

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