Massive safety sweep stops work at nearly 1,500 construction sites

By Brick Underground  | September 14, 2021 - 12:30PM 

Over 3,600 violations and 1,499 stop-work orders were issued from June through August as part of the DOB's Operation Zero Tolerance construction safety campaign.


A massive three-month safety sweep halted work at 1,499 New York City building construction sites for unsafe conditions.

As part of its Zero Tolerance campaign that launched June 1st, the Department of Buildings sent inspectors to approximately 7,500 building construction sites in all five boroughs to check whether safeguards were in place to prevent worker injuries and falls.

Over 3,600 violations and 1,499 stop-work orders were issued to contractors and site safety professionals as a result of the campaign. (Some stop-work orders have been rescinded after the contractor corrected the condition and a follow up inspection determined the site was safe to reopen, according to Andrew Rudansky, press secretary for DOB.)

 Zero Tolerance visits and violations issued by borough, June-August 2021

Zero Tolerance visits and violations issued by borough, June-August 2021

Department of Buildings

Notably, there have been seven building construction-related fatalities in NYC in 2021, however none occurred while the Zero Tolerance campaign was in effect.

 Zero Tolerance violations issued by work site type.

Zero Tolerance violations issued by work site type.

Department of Buildings

In 2020, despite the pandemic shutdown, eight construction workers were killed on the job and in both 2019 and 2018, there were 12 construction site deaths, according to the Daily News. The rate of construction-related injuries has been falling in recent years, the report said.

In addition, the DOB’s five new construction safety bills were on the agenda yesterday for a meeting of the City Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings. The bills would create a licensing requisite for general contractors for the first time and require more site safety supervision at larger work sites, among other measures. 

If signed into law, Intro. 2278: Licensing General Contractors would require all general contractors to demonstrate their experience, receive site safety training, and be responsible for their work. It would also enable the DOB to take disciplinary action against general contractors, including suspending or revoking a general contractor’s license.

If you’re concerned about the safety of a construction site for the general public, such as excessive noise, an unsafe demolition, or missing fence, you’re advised to contact 311 by phone or the online portal. Try to be as specific as you can with your information.


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