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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

The DOB Enforces “Zero-Tolerance” Safety Sweeps After Several Preventable Worker Deaths in NYC

October 29, 2021 in

As a result of several recent construction worker deaths in New York City, The Department of Buildings (DOB) has launched “zero-tolerance” safety sweeps throughout the city’s five boroughs. The announcement was made on June 1st, 2021.


The safety sweeps target thousands of construction sites to evaluate the safety conditions that are in place, with strict consequences for worksites that fail to enforce full compliance with required safety guidelines. Below, the construction accident attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. detail this new installment in the DOB’s efforts to prevent any and all construction worker injuries and deaths.


Falls are a Leading Cause of Construction Worker Injury and Death


According to, there have been 37 fatalities and over 1,000 injuries that have resulted from construction worker falls, all of which were preventable. Over just a two-week period in May of 2021, three workers were killed in separate incidents, with two of these workers dying as a result of a fall. 


According to Melanie E. La Rocca, DOB Commissioner, “The recent spate of construction worker deaths in our city is tragic, senseless – and even worse, entirely avoidable. Department inspectors have been directed to sweep worksites around the city, and unsafe conditions will be met with zero tolerance. The death of even one construction worker is wholly unacceptable.”


Violators of “Zero-Tolerance” Safety Sweeps Could Face Fines of Up to $25,000 Per Violation


To hold worksites accountable, the DOB is implementing steep fines for any safety violations. Worksites found violating regulations could face fines of up to $25,000 per violation.


The guidelines that inspectors will be evaluating on each worksite are as follows:

  • Ensure that permitted construction projects are in full compliance with the required safety plans.
  • Confirm that contractors and safety professionals are adhering to the city’s construction safety regulations.
  • Check that workers are properly using safety harnesses and fall arrest systems where required.
  • Distribute safety information on fall prevention. The DOB will also mail the information to all permit holders performing roof work.


The DOB Announces Five New Construction Safety Bills 


In addition to introducing safety sweeps, the DOB has also announced five new construction safety bills that are currently being evaluated by the Committee on Housing and Buildings. The DOB states that these bills would improve the oversight and enforce greater accountability of general contractors on construction sites, requiring more supervision at large work sites, banning the use of stand-off brackets for suspended scaffold work, and more. 


If You Have Been Injured on an NYC Construction Site, Contact SPBMCC Today


All construction accident deaths are tragedies, let alone entirely preventable in many cases. It is crucial that NYC worksites are enforcing the highest standards of safety possible to prevent avoidable worker injuries and fatalities—the DOB’s new safety inspections are a step in the right direction towards ensuring worker safety and holding negligent contractors accountable. 


At Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C., our New York construction accident attorneys are committed to helping injured workers obtain the settlements they need. We have a proven track record in construction injury cases, having recovered more than 40 individual verdicts and settlements over one million dollars for injured construction workers and over $2 billion recovered total. 


Results matter, and our attorneys are here to help you obtain the results you deserve. To schedule a free consultation at our New York or New Jersey offices, call (212) 732-9000 today. 

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