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Construction & Design

Enforcement sweep as safety deadline looms

Department of Buildings (DOB) inspectors have begun proactive sweeps of over 6,000 construction sites to educate workers about construction site safety.

CoMmissioner Melanie
La Rocca

The sweeps come in advance of a December 1 deadline by which every worker and supervisor on major construction sites will be required to have undergone mandatory hours of safety training.

“As the holidays approach, building inspectors are making their list and checking it twice to ensure every relevant site is following the rules and keeping its workers safe,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Having every worker and supervisor on major construction sites appropriately trained by December 1 isn’t just about following the law — it’s about saving lives.”

“No family should have an empty seat at their dinner table this holiday season because safety wasn’t the top priority on a work site,” said Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca.

“We are sweeping construction sites citywide to enforce proper site safety and prevent needless tragedies. If bad actors ignore these safety precautions, they can look forward to a holiday present of tough enforcement and stiff penalties.”

Inspection teams from units across DOB are being deployed on heightened sweeps of all active Site Safety Training worksites to ensure that construction sites are safe for both workers and the public.

The sweeps come in the wake of two separate work-related accidents where two construction workers in Manhattan lost their lives. These two accidents are still under active investigation, by DOB, partner agencies, and law enforcement.

DOB inspectors are investigating work sites across the five boroughs for compliance with existing construction safety rules, ensuring that scaffold safety precautions are being followed, construction cranes are installed and used according to approved plans, and that fall protection systems are being utilized.

Work sites found to be unsafe could face penalties of up to $25,000 for each construction safety violation. Sites can also be shut down in the event of serious safety lapses.

In an effort to increase safety on the city’s construction sites over the last few years, DOB has quadrupled penalties for the most serious safety violations, added more than 250 additional inspectors to its ranks since 2015, required safety supervision for all major projects of four stories or greater, is implementing a first-of-its-kind safety training program for the city’s construction workforce and continues to call out bad actors out publicly in monthly enforcement bulletins.

All Site Safety Training worksites in the city have been included in this sweep.

Starting on December 1, all construction workers on larger work sites will be required to have at least 30 hours of mandatory safety training, while safety supervisors will be required to have at least 62 hours of training.

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