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DOB to Improve Construction Safety

The DOB announced its plan to improve construction safety in New York. The plan includes a major increase in construction related safety penalties, a 90-day construction sweep through ongoing construction sites and the requirement of a new onsite construction superintendent.

The construction safety plan comes on the heels of several construction accidents including a crane collapse in February. The DOB cites a precipitous increase in construction volume. There was a 329% increase in square footage over 2009 and a 517% increase in new housing units over the same period.  Most concerning is the 98% increase in accidents since 2009.

Construction Sweeps

In February 2016, the DOB began a program of inspections on all active construction sites 15 stories and above as well as contractors with bad safety track records actively on construction projects under 10 stories. The DOB is looking for major failures in construction safety that can lead to injury among personnel.

In targeting bad actors, the DOB is looking for contractors with a history of multiple stop work orders and serious violations. By summer 2016 the DOB plans on hiring 100 enforcement inspectors to target these bad actors.

Increased Fines

The DOB intends to deter construction safety violations by drastically increasing penalties.

  • Class 1 violations increase from $2,400 to $10,000
  • Class 2 violations increase from $1,200 to $5,000

The DOB will look to revoke licenses for individuals on construction teams who are responsible for unsafe conditions. Targeted actors include site safety managers, site safety coordinators and construction superintendents.


Coming in July 2016 the DOB will require contractors to hire superintendents on all major construction projects. Superintendents will be required to log safety information. Failure to do so could mean a fine for contractors from $5,000 to $25,000.

The construction safety hazards coincides with the DOB’s efforts to increase special inspection safety, energy compliance and promote its code of conduct for licensed professionals.

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