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Safety violations lead to significant fine against contractor

A contractor overseeing a job site in Manhattan was fined nearly $40,000 for what the Department of Buildings (DOB) described as “multiple violating conditions.”

According to the DOB, inspectors to the site at 335 Grand Street noted a handful of worrying safety issues.

That included:

  • Unguarded holes on one of the floors
  • Missing guard rails
  • Inadequate egress
  • Missing window protections

In January of 2020, the department announced it had fined the contractor a total of $37,250 over the violations discovered by inspectors. While the announcement, fortunately, made no mention of injuries, the news could still be seen as quite troubling. Why? Because it points to the continued neglect of common causes of avoidable accidents.

Violations and worker deaths

When a property owner or contractor skimps on safety regulations, they’re not the ones that pay the price. Instead, these choices endanger the lives of the workers on the site. We know this thanks to information from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

As one worker safety group points out, OSHA violations correspond with construction worker fatalities. For example, according to OSHA, the most frequently cited standard violation is fall protections – and falls continue to be the leading cause of construction worker deaths in New York City. (Keep in mind, this point also does not include those coping with serious, life-changing injuries following a fall.)

This suggests many construction accidents could be prevented if responsible parties simply followed basic safety rules.

Contractors and site owners have a legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace. Those that choose to not do so by ignoring straightforward regulations could potentially be held liable for any injuries or fatalities that happen as a result.

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