In New York, the Department of Buildings has noted that there have been a fair amount of serious accidents involving construction workers as of late. To combat this trend, the city has been investigating sites and shutting down those that are deemed to be unsafe.
Last year, in the first six months of the year, the city gave out 3,738 halt-work orders. This year, over the same period of time, the city has given out 4,580 of these orders. That's not just a minor spike. It's a rise in just 12 months of roughly 23 percent.
It is worth noting that the amount of construction that is even being done does play into these numbers; obviously, if there are fewer sites in operation, there will be fewer that are shut down. For example, only 2,701 sites were shut down in the first half of 2012, but much less work was being done on the whole.
The 2016 numbers do, to some extent, mirror the rise in work. However, experts who study the trends do note that the issuing of these orders is rising faster than the increase in construction, which does suggest that the city is being stricter and more thorough with the investigations.
When a stop-work order is handed out, it goes into effect instantly. Construction cannot continue until the issues are fixed or the fines are paid -- or both.
While this emphasis on safety may help workers, it's not going to stop all accidents from taking place, and it shows how dangerous a job site can be. Those who are injured need to know how to seek compensation.
Source: Politico, "With eye on safety, city shutting down construction jobs at record rate," Sally Goldenberg, July 25, 2016