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Bill de Blasio announces new construction rules after crane collapse

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, joined by

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, joined by other city officials, speaks in the Lower East Side Friday, Feb. 12, 2015, and announced changes in construction supervision of structures of less than 10 stories. This comes in the wake of incidents that in some cases, have lead to the death of construction workers. The building in the background was where a worker died and help to inspire the new guidelines. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday announced new construction regulations a week after a crane collapsed in lower Manhattan and killed a pedestrian.

Citing the pace of construction in the city, which has surged 300 percent since 2009, de Blasio said the New York City government would quadruple fines for serious violations, do more than 1,500 “sweeps” in the next three months and impose new regulation on job sites.

“No building’s worth a person’s life,” de Blasio said, pointing to the hiring of 100 new enforcement officers, part of a $120 million revamping of the city’s Department of Buildings.

“We have a responsibility to keep the men and women who are building New York City safe,” de Blasio said.

The new policy, announced at an East Village site where a construction worker died, will mean more regulation, including at buildings under 10 stories, not just new projects.

In addition, superintendents of projects will be required to examine the job sites every day and keep a log of safety details.

Last week’s crane collapse killed David Wichs, 38, a Harvard-educated stock trader who worked near the crash site.

De Blasio spokesman Wiley Norvell said the cost to the industry would be “de minimis.” The job of the person doing the overseeing pays about $80,000, he said, adding that they are responsible for checking on multiple job sites a day.

“We won’t tolerate contractors who cut corners and recklessly increase the risks of construction work,” Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler said in a statement.

Nearly three-quarters of construction accidents happened last year at projects of less than 10 stories, according to the Department of Buildings.


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