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Safety Inspections Stop Work in New York

New York City is clamping down on safety violations by increasing inspections and handing out significantly more citations. Could other cities/states follow?

8 October, 2021

New York Safety Inspections
The city clamps down on safety violations with thousands of inspections and citations.

A zero-tolerance safety sweep of construction sites in the five boroughs of New York resulted in the city’s Department of Buildings issuing 1,499 stop work orders and 3,666 safety violations in the approximately 7,500 sites inspected. The “sweep” took place starting June 1, largely in response to seven construction site deaths between January and May. According to Andrew Rudansky, press secretary for the DOB, inspectors checked to make sure that workers were using safety harnesses, controlled access zones, guardrails and other fall prevention systems, as well as if the construction sites complied with general safety plans. Those sites that corrected their non-compliance issues were allowed to resume operation.

Department of Buildings


The DOB was also proactive in providing literature to the workers, reminding them about proper fall protection. The city has ramped it up from here, hiring additional safety inspectors and increasing the penalties for serious violations. It has proposed five new laws, supported by the DOB. The proposed bills would create a licensing requirement for general contractors who perform construction work, require more site safety supervision at larger work sites, strengthen requirements for cold-formed steel construction, and permanently ban the dangerous use of stand-off brackets for suspended scaffold work.


“DOB enforcement is of critical importance in promoting safety at construction sites; but the reality is that we cannot be in all places at all times,” Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca said in a statement earlier in the month. “To protect the lives of the working men and women who are building in our city, we need our partners in the construction industry to step up and join us in pushing for enhanced round-the-clock supervision and greater accountability.” The majority of the stop work orders were issued in Manhattan, followed by Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island.

Similar action was taken by the city in 2019.




Check out these other stories and podcasts about OSHA

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