The New York City Department of Buildings issued 23% more stop-work orders between January and June this year (4,580) than it did during the same period last year (3,738).
Missing guardrails and exposed holes were the most numerous causes of stop orders. The increased rate of stop-work orders (70%) has surpassed that of new construction permits (25%) by almost three times from 2012 to 2016.
Buildings department officials said stop-work orders are a vital tool to ensure public safety, but critics said that inspectors have been too quick to shut down jobs, and that there are no written guidelines to explain what conditions warrant the action. With increased construction activity, New York has experienced an uptick in deadly accidents in recent years.
According to The Real Deal, there have been 16 construction-related deaths in New York City during the past year.