Construction has boomed 300% since 2009 in New York City, but the added jobs and housing also have brought about serious construction safety lapses.
“No building is worth a person’s life. We have a responsibility to keep the men and women who are building New York City safe. We are ramping up inspections and oversight to make sure that our workers have added protections. We do not accept any loss of life in this business as inevitable or acceptable,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“We won’t tolerate contractors who cut corners and recklessly increase the risks of construction work. We’re quadrupling the penalties for the most frequent safety lapses, sweeping contractors with poor safety records at projects of less than 10 stories – where nearly three quarters of accidents occurred last year – and increasing oversight at these sites,” said Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler. “Our investigations routinely reveal that accidents could have been prevented if contractors simply followed existing safety rules. We’re determined to change the mindset that safety violations are simply the cost of doing business.”
Serious safety penalties will now rise from $2,400 to $10,000 and the penalty for lacking a construction superintendent will increase from $5,000 to a maximum of $25,000. In order to enforce these new stricter rules, the city will hire 100 more inspectors, and mandate construction superintendents at projects under 10 stories.