Tropical Storm Hermine may bring flooding, sustained winds of up to 57 mph, and gusts reaching as high as 75 mph, to the New York City area from Saturday afternoon through Tuesday. Accordingly, DOB is reminding all builders, contractors, crane operators, and property owners to secure their construction sites, buildings, and equipment.
In preparation for this potentially severe weather, the Department is ordering all cranes to cease operations in the City by 3 pm on Saturday, September 3. Cranes should be safely stored as required by manufacturer guidelines.
The Department will be performing random spot-check inspections of construction sites around the City. If sites are not secured, the Department will take immediate enforcement action — issuing violations and Stop Work Orders, where necessary.
Winds may reach higher speeds and last longer than forecast in certain areas of the City. Property owners must consider the safety of their buildings and construction sites, including cranes, suspended and supported scaffolding, hoists and any other building appurtenances that may come loose from exposure to high winds. Structures that have been subject to deferred maintenance or are in delicate condition could be at greater risk. The Department suggests consulting a professional to advise how to secure construction sites and buildings.
To safeguard construction sites, builders, contractors and developers should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:
- Tie down and secure material and loose debris at construction sites.
- Cover electrical equipment from exposure to the weather.
- Store loose tools, oil cans and extra fuses in a tool box.
- Secure netting, scaffolding and sidewalk sheds.
- Suspend crane operations and secure crane equipment when wind speeds reach 30 mph or greater.
- Suspend hoist operations and secure exterior hoists when wind speeds reach 35 mph or greater, unless manufacturer specifications state otherwise.
- Brace and secure construction fences.
- Call 911 if there is an emergency on a construction site.
Buildings Bulletin 2010-019 outlines the requirements for vertical netting, debris netting and material-fall protection devices at buildings and construction sites.
To secure a building, property owners should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:
- Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools and toys.
- Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks.
- Close up and secure patio umbrellas.
- Secure retractable awnings.
- Remove aerial antennas and satellite television dishes.
New Yorkers are encouraged to call 311 to report non-compliant conditions or 911 to report emergencies at construction sites or buildings. New Yorkers who suspect a building or property has been structurally compromised should call 911.
Under §28-301.1 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, property owners are legally obligated to maintain their properties in a safe condition.
Department weather advisories are strictly a courtesy to remind property owners to prepare their properties for severe weather and cannot be read to suggest that the Department, rather than the property owner, is responsible for maintaining his or her property.