Building owners, contractors or other construction professionals that do not respect construction safety rules put workers and civilians at risk of accidents. To prevent misconduct, the NYC Department of Buildings conducts thousands of inspections and bad actors are sanctioned. A list of the main sanctions is published monthly by the DOB. What comes out of the January DOB Enforcement Action Bulletin is that sadly, in New York City, endangering the life of construction workers comes at a much cheaper price tag than displaying advertising in illegal locations or being an illegal Airbnb host.
Here are the highest penalties issued by the NYC Department of Buildings in January:
- The owner of a two-family building located at 29 Marconi Place in Brooklyn received the highest fine with a total of $74,250 in penalties. After a fire erupted on location, a DOB investigation found that the owner had illegally converted the property to add 4 single-room occupancy units. The construction work was effectuated without a permit and the owner failed to comply with previous orders from the DOB to legalize the conditions at the property.
- The second highest fine was a penalty of $66,250 for illegal transient use issued to NY LLC Brodcom West Development Comp. The DOB found out that an apartment located at 75 West End Avenue in Manhattan was used by 3 guests for a short term stay booked through Airbnb. Additionnally the apartment was missing a fire alarm system which is required for transient units.
- The third highest fine was a total of $63,125 in penalties issued to the property owner of a two-family home located at 53-16 103rd Street in Queens, for illegally altering the property and adding 4 single-room occupancy units. The owner did not have a work permit and failed to maintain the property.
- Illegally displaying advertising signs is a DOB violation that comes with a hefty fine. An advertising company that illegally displayed an advertising sign in a location within view of the Lincoln Tunnel exit was fined $40,000.
- A general contractor doing some excavation work at 186 Huron Street in Brooklyn was issued a $22,500 fine after multiple safety issues that could have been deadly for construction workers were found at the site. When investigators arrived at the site they found that the excavation slope was greater than 45 degrees which made it unsafe and that the sides were in danger of collapsing. An excavator was also placed too close to the edge. Workers had not been provided with orientation and there were no site safety plans.
- A safety registrant was slapped with a $22,500 fine after a worker cut two fingers while using a table saw. The accident occurred after a safety guard was improperly removed from the saw. Additionally workers at the site were not given safety orientation at pre-shift meetings and evidence of the worker injuries were tampered with before DOB inspectors arrived.
Multiple other contractors or owners were fined amounts between $22,000 and $6000 after construction workers were injured or safety violations were found at a construction site.
Read the entire Enforcement Bulletin for January