In the wake of a recent accident in which a crane fell, killing a passerby, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler announced new rules to ensure the safety of those working at or walking by a construction site. This includes an increase in monetary fines. Mayor de Blasio said these measures are necessary because “no building is worth a person’s life.”
With numerous safety provisions already in place, the spotlight is now on stricter enforcement. As part of the new plan, there will be a greater number of inspections, especially on projects under 10 stories tall where there is a greater risk of injury and/or death. According to Crains New York, construction projects under 10 stories tall accounted for 70% of all accidents in 2015. The Building Department plans to add 100 new inspectors to handle the greater workload. Additionally, a construction superintendent will now be required on all projects under 10 stories tall, or else property owners face a $25,000 fine. In addition, fines for serious safety violations will increase from $2,400 to $10,000.
New Yorkers are used to new development and construction projects in the city. In 2015 alone, there were an estimated 33,000 live construction sites. Due to the dangers posed by high rise construction in the city, New York has passed some of the strictest construction safety provisions, not only in the U.S., but throughout the world. Nevertheless, the number of construction accidents have been on the rise and have been disproportionate to the increases in construction work. According to a New York Times expose, the building rate increased in the fiscal year 2014-2015 by 11%, but the accident rate increased by 52%.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a construction accident, contact the experienced attorneys of Levine & Slavit, PLLC to receive the compensation you and your family deserve. Contact (888) LAW-8088 for a consultation today.