By Penny Laughlin
These have certainly been interesting times for the New York City construction industry. As you know, the Department of Buildings (DOB) and other city agencies quickly moved filings online as the region shut down to stop the spread of COVID-19. While the industry has since resumed operations as part of Phase 1, agency on-site staffing remains minimal, and most information and clarification requests continue to occur through email communication.
Citywide Inspection Sweep
Now that construction activity has restarted, DOB inspectors have been visiting permitted sites to ensure compliance with state and city Phase 1 restart requirements. The citywide inspection sweep, which started on June 8, has emphasized education and implementation of new safety standards and procedures. DOB violations issued at this time have not carried a financial penalty.
This 30-day grace period ends on July 8. As of this date, sites that do not comply with restart requirements will incur financial penalties of $5,000 per violation and may receive a Stop Work Order. Continued noncompliance may result in additional summonses, accompanied by civil penalties of up to $10,000 for each offense.
Additionally, DOB inspectors will take enforcement actions for any building and electrical code violations observed.
Phase 1 Reopening Compliance Checklist
DOB inspectors will be looking for the following as they evaluate permitted job sites:
- Signage posted within the cab and on each landing indicating required maximum 50% for Elevator or Hoist
- Confined space in use at no greater than 50% when wearing face coverings
- On-site cleaning log maintained
- On-site COVID-19 Communication Plan
- On-site Contact Log maintained
- DOH COVID-19 Guidance Signage posted throughout site
- On-site COVID-19 Safety Plan
- Designated COVID-19 site safety monitor
- On-site affirmation of State DOH Safety Guidance
- Availability of hand-washing stations and/or hand sanitizer
- Signage posted limiting restroom facilities to 50% occupancy (except single-person facilities)
- Face coverings for workers and site visitors (+ social distancing)
- Social distancing protocols (6 feet of space) maintained
For additional information, see NYC Construction Restart: DOs & DON’Ts.
As New York City continues to reopen, public health and safety remain a top concern for city and state officials. Unfortunately, the current emphasis on enforcement means fewer resources for routine operations.
To minimize delays on your projects, contact Metropolis Group at 212.233.6344. We can help you address objections before submission to secure prompt approval.