NYC DOB Tells Contractors How to Safely Wind Down Construction Sites

As a result of the “stop work order” on construction in New York State, many projects are now being suspended. In shutting down, it is crucial that the workforce and the public are protected. The Department of Buildings (DOB) offered guidance on how to do that, and what is required for a suspended project, in Buildings Bulletin 2020-004.

As a project owner or contractor, your obligation to protect the personnel and the public extends both to typical construction hazards as well as the novel coronavirus. The Bulletin specifies twenty-two minimum requirements for sites generally, eight specific guidelines for projects suspended in the excavation/foundation phase and an additional two for projects in existing buildings. These measurers are wide ranging and include both one-off acts such as sloping of cuts to prevent erosion and securing equipment to ongoing actions such as maintaining watchpersons and implementing rodent control plans. The guidance also notes that additional measures may be ordered by the DOB based on site-specific conditions.

The ongoing COIVD-19 pandemic is presenting a unique challenge for everyone involved in the construction industry. All owners and contractors should review the Bulleting to confirm compliance, but must recognize that each job may require additional step no covered by the Bulleting to ensure construction sites are safely shut down and legally compliant.

As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.

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