NYC Inspection Sweep Totals at Least $954,450 in Penalties

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri announced the numbers while kicking off the Department of Buildings' ninth annual Construction Safety Week with the 2013 Build Safe/Live Safe Conference.

New York City Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri opened the Department of Buildings' ninth annual Construction Safety Week on April 29 at the 2013 Build Safe/Live Safe Conference, with the announced results of Operation: Low Rise, a two-month inspection sweep of low-rise construction sites throughout the city. Detailed inspections at 920 sites resulted in full and partial stop work orders at 12 percent of the locations, 879 safety violations being issued, and a minimum of $954,450 in penalties.

The conference was held at the New York Marriott Downtown and more than 400 construction professionals and government regulators attended it.

The department's multi-lingual safety campaign for low-rise construction operations, titled Experience Is Not Enough, saw inspectors hand out more than 10,000 educational flyers encouraging workers to take proper precautions on the job site. According to the DOB news release, construction-related fatalities rose to eight last year from five in 2011, and seven of the 2012 deaths occurred on low-rise sites -- buildings under construction that will be nine stories or less.

LiMandri's keynote address stressed raising the industry's safety standards while improving the approval process so more construction projects can break ground. "Experience alone does not make any worker invincible, and this conference is a great way to share ideas about the most common accidents and how we can prevent them from reoccurring," he said. "As development increases across the city, so must our focus on construction safety. Any construction operation presents certain risks, and we are working closely with industry members to mitigate those risks so every worker goes home safely at the end of each shift. With new programs, such as the acceptance of 3D site safety plans and distribution of educational flyers, we are introducing new methods -- and challenging traditional ones -- in order to make constructions sites safer than ever before."

The cited safety violations included:

  • Working without a permit
  • Failure to safeguard
  • Guardrails missing or inadequate
  • Handrails missing/inadequate
  • Work that does not conform to plans
  • Failure to provide protection for adjoining buildings
  • Missing fire extinguishers

The department's new educational flyers were translated into Spanish and Russian. According to the department, construction-related accidents in New York City increased nearly 37 percent in 2012, rom 128 to 175, and 43 percent of those accidents were due to a worker falling.

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