Trade groups unhappy with fine hikes for building code violations

One bill seeks to impose new fine for deaths and injuries

Oct.October 20, 2017 11:30 AM

A trio of City Council bills hike up penalties for building code violations and creates a new fine for when a death occurs at a construction site.

The council approved two bills this week, one that will raise the minimum civil penalty for “major violations” from $1,000 to $2,000, the Commercial Observer reported. The other measure establishes a “violation ratio,” which is the number of — in Department of Building lingo — major and/or immediately hazardous violations in the last six months on a site divided by its square footage. If a site goes over that ratio, the DOB can double fines for each violation.

Another bill, which has not yet been voted on, would impose fines ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million when a construction worker is seriously injured or dies on a site. Trades groups are not happy about the measures. Louis Coletti, president and CEO of the Building Trades Employers’ Association, called the fines “arbitrary and capricious.”

“These are just so blatantly a cash grab to bring in money,” said Diane Cahill, a lobbyist for the Associated Builders and Contractors, an open-shop group.

Cahill said the legislation is an attempt to pay for the training now required under a construction safety bill that passed last month. [CO] — Kathryn Brenzel 

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