Construction sites are notoriously dangerous places, but a 2017 New York City law gives a clear picture of just how dangerous they can be for workers, passersby, and the public at large. Local Law 78 provides access to extensive data about the frequency of New York City construction site accidents.

Local Law 78  requires the Department of Buildings to collect information on all construction accidents that result in either of the following:

  • A fatality to a construction worker or member of the public
  • An injury to a construction worker or member of the public that is significant enough to require ambulance transport to a medical facility

The law additionally requires the site owner, general contractor, or subcontractor to report injuries to the city’s Department of Buildings within three days of the incident. The report must include such details as:

  • The name of the site owner and, if the incident involved a construction worker, the name of the contractor that employed the worker
  • A detailed description of the incident, including the nature of the work being performed at the time
  • Whether any violations were issued as a result of the incident
  • How many people were injured or killed
  • The date, time, and location of the incident
  • Whether or not the injured or killed construction worker was a union member

Local Law 78 also authorizes civil penalties for violating Department of Building rules and/or rules of the Environmental Control Board. Fines may be imposed in these amounts:

  • $2,500 for failure to report an injury
  • Up to $25,000 for hazardous violations, plus $1,000 per day for each day the violation is not corrected
  • Up to $10,000 for major violations, plus $250 per day for each day the violation is not corrected
  • Up to $500 for lesser violations

Finally, Local Law 78 requires the Department of Buildings to compile all  construction accident  reports and to publish them on a monthly basis. These incident reports can be found on  the City of New York website.

At the Brooklyn law firm of Rubenstein & Rynecki, we have become deeply familiar with Local Law 78 and how it can help injured people prove their claims. If you were hurt on a construction site, whether as a worker or bystander, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call (718) 522-1020
or  contact us online  to schedule a consultation with one of our highly experienced construction lawyers.