30 Arrested in NYC Scaffold, Safety Card Sweep

The city's Department of Buildings and its Department of Investigation announced the arrests Oct. 25 and said one of the people arrested is a construction company owner charged with possessing 32 fraudulent scaffold certification cards he had made.

Top officials of two New York City departments recently announced their personnel had made 30 arrests while confiscating fraudulent scaffold certification and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety cards at construction sites in four boroughs. Rose Gill Hearn, commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation, and Buildings DOB Commissioner Robert D. LiMandri said Oct. 25 that the two-week sweep confiscated more than 70 cards. These are required to work on scaffolding and for workers at major buildings in the city.

One person who was arrested is a construction company owner at a Manhattan site who was charged with possessing 32 fraudulent scaffold certification cards that he made by altering legitimate cards, according to the DOB report on the arrests. The operation also resulted in partial and full stop work orders issued at 14 construction sites for a variety of violations, including unapproved installation of supported scaffolding.

"Safety at construction sites is a priority, and this joint sweep underscores the cityg's commitment to enforcement," Hearn said. "Using fake certifications to bypass required training is wrongdoing that puts workers and the public at risk and will not be tolerated. I commend the DOI investigators and the DOB inspectors who uncovered and stopped this hazardous conduct. DOI's effort in this area continues."

"Safety training is essential to safe construction operations, and these arrests send a clear message that anyone who attempts to circumvent these regulations will face serious consequences. Construction is vital to our city's growth, but those who cut corners on the job site are putting the safety of all New Yorkers at risk," LiMandri added. "I would like to thank Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn and her staff for their great work, as well as our inspectors who participated in this important investigation."

Hearn's department launched the operation after DOB reported in September that its inspectors had found fraudulent scaffold certification cards at numerous work sites in Manhattan. The sweep began with DOI investigators and DOB inspectors visiting 16 work sites in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens beginning Oct. 12.

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