New York construction site owners and contractors are responsible for their employees safety. While before the coronavirus crisis this meant that they had to take adequate safety measures to protect construction workers from accident injuries and deaths, now contractors are also responsible for applying the new covid-19 protocole. In New York where aggressive measures have been deployed by the Governor to reduce the spread of the disease, construction site owners and contractors have to follow a strict protocol to keep everybody safe.
The NYC Department of Buildings now has dedicated inspectors who are visiting construction sites to make sure they are compliant
Since July 8th, any NYC construction site that doesn’t respect the Covid-19 protocol can be penalized with violations fines and stop work orders if necessary. During the first five days, inspectors issued 88 citations and 41 stop work orders to construction sites all over the city. During the previous months the inspectors had been reaching out to violators and provided them with guidance and material related to the application of the covid-19 protocol for construction sites in New York City.
New York residents have been acting as the guardians of the covid-protocols with more than 6000 calls to 311 to complain about contractors for potential Covid-19 job site safety protocol violations since March
Local New Yorkers worrying about future spread in their neighborhood have been calling to report workers not wearing PPE equipment or not social distancing at construction sites. The DOB has been relying heavily on these phone calls to send inspectors to visit construction sites potentially violating the protocol.
The most common violations found by inspectors visiting sites were:
- too many workers taking hoists together
- too many workers together in small spaces such as stairways when entering or exiting a job site
- large gathering at lunch or during tool talk meetings
- insufficient onsite cleaning
- insufficient log and record keeping for potential tracing
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