Back to Articles

Surprise Inspection: How to Prepare for New Safety Sweeps

On June 1, 2021, the NYC Department of Buildings announced a slew of unannounced site safety sweeps across the city.

DOB enforcement inspectors have been instructed to take a zero-tolerance approach on “larger and more complex construction sites.”

We predict these stern measures could lead to an uptick in stop work orders and other assorted violations. With this in mind, building owners, contractors, site managers, and more should be advised what inspectors are looking for and what you should do to avoid issues.

Inspection Goals

This sudden move from the DOB was prompted in part by three tragic work site incidents that occurred in May 2021, two of which were the result of worker falls.

However, it is also part of an ongoing expansion in worker safety efforts, which has included site safety training requirements for workers and proposed legislation increasing accountability and safety measures at sites. The increased site safety training in particular has correlated with a 34% decrease in the number of job injuries from 2018 to 2020.

Along with distributing “Worker Alert” safety flyers at construction sites and to permit holders by mail, inspectors are reportedly aiming to:

  • Ensure that permitted construction projects are in full compliance with their required site safety plans.
  • Confirm that contractors and safety professionals are closely adhering to New York City’s robust construction safety regulations.
  • Check that workers are properly using safety harnesses and fall arrest systems where required.

Along with construction delays, contractors could face up to $25,000 in penalty fines for each construction safety violation found during an inspection.

What You Can Do

In order to avoid being caught off-guard by an unannounced inspection, buildings owners, contractors, and more should make sure their sites are following the measures listed above. They should also have appropriate documentation on site at all times, including but not limited to:

  • Site safety plan
  • Active, up-to-date permits
  • Approved plans
  • Accurate, organized records

In addition, make sure all workers are up to date on the appropriate amount of training hours and have their SST cards on hand if required for your site.

If you need assistance with your permits and plans, or you do run into problems, including stop work orders and violations, our experts at Outsource Consultants can assist you.