This time, big buildings aren’t even the most at-risk…
The mayor’s office, in conjunction with the DOB, announced a sweeping set of new compliance regulations to answer risks associated with the city’s ongoing construction boom. The DOB’s Expanded Safety Campaign, introduced following a fatal crane accident in Tribeca, outlines new enforcement policies designed to increase construction site inspections, monitor and penalize buildings with a history of prior infractions, and quadruple existing fines for hazardous violations. Landlords and contractors will now face penalties of up to $25,000 for failure to maintain a safe and compliant site.
This isn’t just for big development projects – the Department of Buildings is specifically targeting smaller sites (which, according to the mayor’s office, is where 70% of construction-related accidents in 2015 occurred).
Starting in July, construction superintendents must now be onsite for all high-risk jobs at properties under 10 stories, including major alterations and partial demolitions. Contractors that fail to comply with these new regulations will face minimum fines of $5,000 and possible license suspension.
The DOB will also proactively monitor sites utilizing contractors with a history of unsafe work, among other high-risk projects. Over 1,000 sites with existing hazardous violations and multiple Stop Work Orders will be reviewed, in addition to all projects over 15 stories.
Perhaps the biggest announcement was the steep increase in penalties for existing violations – now 4x the fine amount. Class 1 immediately hazardous violations will now carry a fine of $10,000, up from $2,400. This amount doesn’t include the current civil penalty for failure to immediately correct existing Class 1 conditions, which is an additional $1,500. Class 2 fines for hazardous violations have also risen, from $1,200 to $5,000.
Compliance regulation is on the rise once again – if you haven’t begun tracking your DOB data yet, now’s a pretty good time to get started.