- New York City inspectors shut down 322 buildings due to hazardous conditions this month, ABC News 7 reported.
- The affected sites include full and partial stop work orders due to hazardous conditions, and the New York City Department of Buildings also issued over 1,129 violations for safety issues and non-compliance issues at those sites, Real Estate Weekly reported. In total, inspectors visited more than 2,100 of the city's larger and more complex building construction sites.
- Following a series of construction worker deaths earlier this year, DOB Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca mobilized teams of enforcement inspectors in early June to perform safety sweeps of the city's larger and more complex construction sites. While performing the "zero-tolerance" sweeps, inspectors issued enforcement actions if they observed safety violations and shut down sites if they found serious safety lapses.
The zero-tolerance sweeps followed three worker deaths in recent weeks, two of which were the result of falls. Increasing focus on safety issues like fall protection is a positive in the areas that require it, said Mike Elmendorf, president and CEO of the New York State chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America.
"Where warranted, [work stoppages] are hard to argue with," he said.
Nevertheless, stop work orders represent a tremendous cost to the project and the economy, Elmendorf said. "AGC NYS is working with DOB to ensure stop work orders are only written based on objective determinations of violations of such rules — particularly where the violations represent an imminent threat to the workers and the public."
In addition, the DOB released a report Monday that showed declines in injuries and deaths on the city's construction sites in 2019 and 2020. In 2019, the DOB reported 595 injuries and 12 deaths, compared to 502 injuries and eight deaths in 2020.
The report provides an analysis of major building construction incidents in the past two years that led to fatal or near fatal outcomes, with details on factors that led to these incidents.
The NYC DOB did not reply to Construction Dive's request for comment by the time of publication.