New York announces construction safety blitz after spate of avoidable deaths

The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) has announced the mobilisation of safety enforcement inspector teams for thousands of the city’s construction sites to guarantee they are safe for workers and the general public.

Following three "avoidable" deaths in the past two weeks, DOB inspectors can issue enforcement actions including fines of up to $25,000 for each safety violation and the closure of worksites.

DOB safety teams will ensure workers use safety harnesses and fall arrest systems and will distribute safety information on how to prevent falls.

Melanie La Rocca, a DOB’s commissioner, said: "The recent spate of construction worker deaths in our city is tragic, senseless – and even worse, entirely avoidable.

"Department inspectors have been directed to sweep work sites around the city, and unsafe conditions will be met with zero tolerance. The death of even one construction worker is wholly unacceptable."

The three deaths are currently under investigation by the DOB.

Image ©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier

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