New York City’s Department of Buildings (DOB) has begun enforcing new stricter safety guidelines related to the novel coronavirus, and in the first five days they issued 88 citations and 41 stop work orders.
The DOB has been relying heavily on citizens reporting the construction companies for what they view as safety violations, including the lack of social distancing and wearing proper personal protective equipment.
“We have been relying on our 311 system to get inspectors to the scene of places that might not be compliant,” said Andrew Rudansky, press secretary for DOB. “Whether it’s a worker who’s concerned about safety on the jobsite, or a neighbor who might think a jobsite isn’t following COVID-19 protocols and is worried about the potential spread in their neighborhood, we certainly are getting those 311 complaints in, and we’re responding to them.”
On June 8th, work was allowed to resume at non-essential job sites in the city but with increased mandatory health regulations including new rules for masks, social distancing, signage, recordkeeping, and disinfecting.
Among the citations issued and warnings given are: too many people riding hoists together, small entrances and exits that don’t allow for social distancing, large gatherings for meals and meetings, inadequate record keeping (which is essential for contact tracing), and poor disinfecting of shared equipment.
For each new offense, the penalty will be $5,000, with $10,000 for each subsequent violation.