The Real Deal New York

DOB to hike penalties for violating stop-work orders

First-time offense now means $6K fine
By Kathryn Brenzel | May 11, 2018 06:00PM

Rick Chandler

Rick Chandler (Credit: Getty Images)

The city will soon bump up fines for violating stop-work orders on construction sites, adding another $1,000 to penalties imposed for first-time offenses.

Starting June 18, the Department of Buildings will impose penalties of $6,000 for initial offenses and then $12,000 for every subsequent violation. Currently, the agency charges $5,000 for the former and $10,000 for the latter.

The City Council approved the change in August, along with a slew of other building-related bills. At the time, the council also voted to double penalties for work done without a permit, which varies based on the kind of work.

Stop-work orders are issued when the DOB determines that work is being done unsafely on a site and/or work violates zoning, construction or other city codes. A death on a construction site can halt work for several weeks. According to an analysis of 2017 DOB records by The Real Deal, the average length of time between when a stop-work order was issued and when it was partially rescinded on construction sites where a death occurred was 25 days.

The penalty change also comes as the city is ramping up its construction safety regulations. A new law requires construction workers to complete at least 40 hours of safety training. In December, the City Council approved a bill that would levy fines of up to $500,000 against companies and $150,000 against individuals for violations that resulted in an injury or death at a construction site.