NYC shuts down 320 construction sites over dangerous conditions during safety sweeps

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Construction work in NY

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 06: Construction worker make infrastructure repairs on the intersection of Church Avenue and Coney Island Avenue in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn borough on April 06, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

New York City has shut down more than 320 construction sites due to dangerous conditions as part of new the “Zero Tolerance” construction site safety sweeps, according to the Department of Buildings. 

Since these sweeps started earlier in June, the DOC has already conducted safety inspections at more than 2,100 of NYC’s larger and more complex building construction sites. They have shut down work at 322 of these construction sites with full and partial stop work orders and issued over 1,129 violations for safety issues and code non-compliance issues at these work sites. 

The two-year report, which is set to be released on Monday, provides an analysis of major building construction incidents in the past two years. The crackdown was in response to several construction deaths that happened earlier this year, according to the DOB.  

“Knowledge is power, and the analysis in this report can help the construction industry keep their workers safe from hazardous site conditions,” said Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca. 

Officials said they hope this report would help prevent construction worker injury or death in the future. 

Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., who chairs the Committee on Housing and Buildings,” explained why this report is so important.

“Construction deaths are not acceptable. In order to prevent avoidable fatalities, we need better information about construction sites, and we need to learn from our mistakes that put workers at risk,” Cornegy said. “This new report does just that.”

Council Member Peter Koo agreed that construction fatalities are unacceptable.

“As our city continues to recover, and construction begins to ramp up, we need to make sure we are deconstructing past accidents, and doubling down on safety precautions,” Koo said.

Council Member Paul Vallone also supported the report.

“Collecting this data is an important step in developing comprehensive and effective plan to make our city a safer place to live and work,” Vallone said.

The report found that construction-related injuries in the city dropped 21% in 2019 and dropped another 15% in 2020. This decline is the first such decrease in ten years. Deaths held steady at 12 in 2019 and dropped to eight in 2020.  

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