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Understanding Your Rights: NYC Department of Buildings Safety Violations

New York city buildings

In New York City, and especially in downtown Manhattan, it is almost impossible to go an entire day without passing by at least one building that is under construction. In fact, if you live in the city, there is a decent chance that you live next door to (or maybe even in) a construction zone that is a constant source of dust, noise, danger and frustration.

Under the New York City Construction Codes, construction companies and contractors must comply with a number of regulations designed to protect the public safety. These regulations apply to all aspects and phases of construction projects:

  • Site Safeguarding and Maintenance
  • Soil and Foundation Work
  • Placement and Installation of Construction Materials
  • Demolition
  • Pedestrian Protection
  • Protection of Unenclosed Job Sites
  • Protection of Adjoining Property
  • Use of Explosive-Powered Tools and Blasting
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Scaffolding
  • Hoisting and Material Handling Equipment
  • Cranes and Derricks

As someone who lives or works in New York City (or if you are visiting the city on vacation), if you have been hurt as a result of a violation of the Construction Codes you could be entitled to significant financial compensation. The following are examples of common issues that may entitle you to a financial recovery:

  • Demolition – Demolition should not start until all required public safety protections are in place, which includes establishing a “safety zone” around the demolition area that has been approved by the commissioner of the New York Department of Buildings.
  • Exposed Electrical Wiring – Under the Construction Codes, builders, contractors and subcontractors must ensure all wiring and temporary electrical equipment meet city-wide standards.
  • Fires – All construction sites must be maintained in accordance with the New York City Fire Code. This includes having an adequate water supply and sprinklers, having fire extinguishers on hand and enforcing a strict no-smoking policy.
  • Loose Debris – Buildings under construction must be inspected daily to ensure that floors, roofs and working decks are cleaned of debris.
  • Pedestrian Walkways – When a construction site impedes access to a public sidewalk, an alternate, safe walking route must be provided. Builders and construction companies must also protect pedestrian walkways from falling objects.
  • Public Elevator Access – When construction sites are open to the public (as in the case of construction on an existing office, condo or apartment building), construction-specific elevators must be appropriately safeguarded, and public elevators must continue to access all open floors.
  • Slip and Trip Hazards – Public areas surrounding construction sites must be kept reasonably free of slip and trip hazards, and any areas open to the public must be kept free of snow, ice and other fall risks as well.

This is just a small sampling of accidents that may qualify you for financial compensation. If you have been injured as a result of one of these or any other issues relating to a New York City construction site, we encourage you to contact us so that we can help you understand your legal rights.

Have You Been Injured in New York City? Contact Us Today.

Personal injury attorney Christopher Gorayeb has 30 years of experience representing accident victims in New York City. He and the other attorneys at Gorayeb & Associates have recovered nearly $1 billion in compensation for their clients’ losses*. If you have been injured on or near a New York City construction site, call (212) 267-8222 or contact us online for a free consultation today.

*Specific details regarding case and settlement results are not indications of the results of future cases and settlements, nor should they be held to be guarantees, warranties, or predictions regarding the result of representation by our firm.

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