Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri announced an 18 percent decrease in construction related accidents last year, even as permits for new projects increased.
They cited increased enforcement, expanded outreach to the construction industry and greater cooperation by builders to follow guidelines as reasons for the drop in accidents and fatalities.
Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement that “the good news is even as construction activity rose by nearly 8 percent last year, the number of construction-related accidents fell by more than 18 percent.”
He added "you don't comply with the code and you make that site dangerous, we are going to close you down."
There were 25 new construction safety laws implemented since 2008, as well as other changes such as banning smoking at sites that have paid off, according to Commissioner LiMandri.
In 2011, there were 152 construction related accidents, down from 165 reported on 2010. But there were five construction related fatalities in 2011, one more than in 2010.
Lou Coletti, head of the Building Trade Associate which represents the city's unionized contractors, said in addition to more enforcement, there needs to be continued investment in the issue of safety vs. cutting corners. "The construction industry is the 2nd most dangerous occupation in the country after coal mining," Coletti said.