Requirement for site safety inspectors hampering construction in New York City

Lack of qualified professionals slowing millions of dollars of development

New York City’s regulation that requires contractors to hire independent safety inspectors for job sites is holding up projects worth millions of dollars, contractors say. The problem: not enough inspectors to go around.

Architect Howard Zimmerman told the New York Post that the city’s construction industry is in a boom cycle and projects have been halted because of a shortage of inspectors. He said that his firm has 20 projects worth millions on hold until safety inspectors can be made available.

Some in the construction industry are asking the city to change the site inspector requirement. Inspectors must be on site to check safety equipment for all buildings over 15 stories tall. The dearth of qualified inspectors has gotten so bad that two construction firms were recently hit with criminal charges for hiring hairdressers and cooks to pose as licensed professionals.

One proposal is to undo code changes created in 2008 that added the safety inspector requirement to restoration projects. Previously they were only needed on new construction.


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