NYC shuts down 322 construction sites in 'Zero Tolerance' crackdown

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City has shut down more than 300 construction sites due to hazardous conditions just this month, according to the Department of Buildings.

According to a press release set to be released Monday, the hundreds of Full and Partial Stop Work Orders were issued as part of new "Zero Tolerance" safety sweeps of the city's larger and more complex construction sites.

The agency says the crackdown was in response to a number of construction deaths that happened earlier this year and the number of sites shut down could still rise.

The Buildings' Department is set to release a construction safety report that analyzed the industry over 2019 and 2020.

Officials say they hope it will help prevent construction worker injury or death in the future.

"Construction deaths are not acceptable. In order to prevent avoidable fatalities, we need better information about construction sites and we need to learn from our mistakes that put workers at risk. This new report does just that," city Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. said.

The report showed construction-related injuries in the city dropped for the first time in 10 years in 2019 and again in 2020. While deaths held steady at 12 in 2019, that total dropped to eight in 2020.

The press release says the decline "coincides with changes in Department regulations, including mandatory site safety training for workers on larger work sites, and new proactive construction inspection protocols at the Department."

Next month the city council will debate five bills that seek to increase safety including by making it a law that all general contractors be licensed.

The report will be released just days after a large condominium partially collapsed in Florida, killing at least nine people.

In a structural field service report done on the building in 2018, engineers pointed out evidence of flooding, cracking and corrosion in the building.

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