Oversight of Building Construction Site Safety (Follow-Up)

Issued Date
January 10, 2024
Buildings, New York City Department of


To assess the extent of implementation of the six recommendations included in our initial audit report, Oversight of Building Construction Site Safety (Report 2021-N-3).

About the Program

The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) is responsible for regulating the safe and lawful use of buildings and construction sites to promote the safety of all people who visit, live, and work in NYC. This requires construction managers, contractors, and subcontractors to institute and maintain safety measures necessary to safeguard the public and property. DOB inspectors respond to incidents and complaints and perform inspections to enforce compliance. DOB has the authority to issue Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) Summonses and DOB Violations when a property or construction site does not comply with codes, rules, and regulations.

The objective of our initial audit report, issued on September 1, 2022, was to determine whether DOB adequately monitors NYC building construction sites to ensure compliance with applicable codes, laws, and rules for construction site safety. The audit, which covered the period January 2018 to December 2021, found that DOB’s oversight of building construction sites – including construction site inspections and safety – and enforcement activity needed to be improved to ensure that owners, contractors, and other responsible parties report all building construction site incidents and comply with the required codes, rules, and regulations. Additionally, DOB’s enforcement activities provided limited assurance that immediately hazardous conditions identified by DOB are addressed in a timely manner. DOB also did not prioritize which sites should be proactively inspected for safety conditions. Generally, DOB inspections were performed after an incident had occurred or a complaint had been received even though its prior enforcement actions and contractors’ safety history are data sets that could be used to help identify high-risk construction sites. Further, DOB had inadequate procedures for incident and fatality reporting and was not always aware of building construction-related incidents.

Key Findings

DOB made limited progress in addressing the issues identified in our initial audit report. Of the initial report’s six recommendations, two were implemented, one was partially implemented, and three were not implemented.

Key Recommendation

Officials are given 30 days after the issuance of this report to provide information on any actions that are planned to address the unresolved issues discussed in this follow-up.

Kenrick Sifontes

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director:Kenrick Sifontes
Phone: (212) 417-5200; Email: [email protected]
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236