NYC to install scaffolds at building at the owner's expense By Michael Joseph on March 26, 2020

Our New York City construction accident lawyers know that scaffold accidents and injuries caused by missing or inadequate sidewalk sheds have been a cause of serious personal injuries. Many of these construction personal injuries and fatalities occur because of violations of New York State and New York City Codes. The NYC Construction Codes require owners to build and maintain their properties in safe condition and have extensive regulations to make sure that construction is conducted in a safe manner so that construction workers and the public in general do not suffer personal injuries. However, a vast majority of New York City building owners were cited violations for unsafe facades in a crackdown in spite of City's demands to put up scaffolding. The Department of Buildings Commissioner stated during a City Council hearing that the city has  hired contractors to install scaffolds at buildings that were not responding to violations and plans to bill owners for the work. This shines a light on the reality of construction on a day to day basis. While New York State and New York City have extensive regulations which are intended to protect construction workers, they are often ignored by the contractors.

The city issued violations at 220 buildings which lacked proper pedestrian protection after inspecting more than 1,330 building facades in December.  When a construction site does not have a proper pedestrian protection, such as sidewalk sheds or safety nets, there is nothing to protect pedestrians or construction workers from falling debris, which is inevitable in any demolition project. Of the 1330 buildings cited for violations, only 68 have complied with city demands to install scaffolding. Contractors will be hired to install scaffolding at the remaining 152 buildings at the expense of the property owners.

The Department of Buildings strives to ensure the safe and lawful use of approximately one million buildings and properties in New York City. The NYC Building Code and NYC Zoning Resolution to ensure the construction industry is protecting the public and property in the progress of work and that all work is being done in a Code compliant manner. Failure to operate within the guidelines set by the Code and Zoning Resolution could result in violations, monetary penalties, and/or criminal charges. Our New York construction accident attorneys  strive to ensure construction workers safety guidelines are met as per the NYC Building Code and NYC Zoning laws and have decades of experience in suing construction site owners and contractors for dangerous site conditions when construction workers suffer personal injuries. Our attorneys have represented countless construction workers and pedestrians who suffered personal injuries because of falling debris where a construction site did not provide proper protection.   

While more regulation probably isn't the answer, since New York City construction sites already have extensive protective regulations in place. Rather, we need to have the laws that are already on the books enforced and taken seriously.  Only then will construction accidents caused by falling debris start to decline. If you were injured in a construction accident in New York City or Westchester because of failling debris, the lack of proper sidewalk protection was probably the cause. 


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The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC, has been helping injured victims recover compensation for their injuries for over a decade. Our attorneys are members of several prestigious organizations, including: 

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