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De Blasio announces increased penalties for safety violations at NYC construction sites

In the aftermath of the tragic crane accident in Tribeca that killed one person and injured three more people, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to increase fines for construction violations. On Friday, February 12, de Blasio put forth the following changes.

  • Penalties for safety violations will increase from $2,400 to $10,000
  • For constructions sites that do not have a construction superintendent, fines will increase from $5,000 to $25,000

Previously, construction projects on buildings fewer than 10 stories did not need a construction superintendent onsite. With these changes, all projects will require construction superintendents. Repeat violators will face additional faces and the possible revocation of their licenses. In addition, the city plans to make safety checks on more than 1,500 work sites and hire more than 100 enforcement inspectors over the next few months.

What will these changes mean for construction safety?

Along with the construction boom that has taken place over the last few years, construction-related injuries and deaths have substantially increased as well. According to the city, construction site injuries have increased 91 percent from 2014 to 2015.

The increase in construction should not come at the cost of safety. In the New York Post, Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler was quoted as saying, "Our investigations routinely reveal that accidents could have been prevented if contractors simply followed existing safety rules. We're determined to change the mindset that safety violations are simply the cost of doing business."

Hopefully, heavier fines and increased scrutiny will mean that contractors and subcontractors will place a higher emphasis on worker safety. If you have been injured in a construction accident, you should work with an experienced injury lawyer. A lawyer can maximize the value of an injury claim and help you move forward with your life.

Source: New York Post, "De Blasio announces crackdown on construction safety," Yoav Gonen, February 12, 2016,

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