After two recent construction worker deaths and a steep rise in construction injuries in New York City, the Department of Buildings is preparing to crack down on those companies not keeping their workers safe.
According to Politico New York, construction related injuries in New York 2015 have risen 34% versus 2014 (283 from 211) and construction related deaths have nearly doubled (11 from 6), resulting in the highest numbers for both categories since at least 2010. The most recent deaths included a 30 year old man falling 30 feet down an elevator shaft and a 25 year old falling 24 stories down an elevator shaft. The latter’s family is now suing the construction companies involved in that project.
The Department of Buildings recently issued a warning to contractors that they would be cracking down on repeat safety offenders. In the press release, the Department announced that it would not only have the authority to enforce many kinds of disciplinary actions, but that it could also issue stop work orders on job sites and revoke contractor licenses.
“…the implementation of new proactive regulatory enforcement efforts through the suspension of a contractor’s registration for receiving multiple immediately hazardous violations over a 24 month period. The disciplinary action – part of an overall strategy of imposing greater accountability and integrity within the construction industry – comes following multiple cases in recent months where unscrupulous construction professionals have cut corners during projects to the detriment of workers or public safety,” the department stated.
In addition to the crack down on repeat offenders, the department has also issued an “Industry Code of Conduct,” which outlines ethics codes, licensing standards, and abuse of privilege. In it, Commissioner Rick Chandler explained industry professionals, “Our Department’s mission is to facilitate safe and compliant development that supports our economy and revitalizes our neighborhoods. Your obligation is to conduct business with the Department in a lawful, honest and professional manner. Together, our work maintains the vibrancy and viability of New York City’s buildings and property.
Construction injuries jumped 34 percent in a year, data shows | Politico New York