For Immediate Release: March 28, 2022
Contact:, (212) 393-2126


Comprehensive Analysis of Building Construction Site Safety and
Work Site Incidents

New York, NY – The Department of Buildings today released its second annual New York City Construction Safety Report, providing a comprehensive analysis of safety trends in the five boroughs of New York City over the 2021 calendar year. This 2021 report provides an overview of building construction data, worker incidents, and Department-issued enforcement actions, as the City continues to make strides in supporting a safety-first culture in the construction industry. The report shows that for the third year in a row, building construction-related incidents have declined in our City, even as construction activity has rebounded from a pandemic-related low in 2020. This report also highlights the nine tragic fatal construction worker incidents that occurred on building work sites across the five boroughs, as well as initiatives launched by the Department to enhance work site safety and protect the public.

Read the 2021 Construction Safety Report

“Construction remains a bedrock industry in our growing City, and we owe it to our fellow New Yorkers to continue to push for safer work sites for the benefit of all New Yorkers,” said Acting Commissioner Constadino "Gus" Sirakis, P.E. “For the second year in a row, we are publishing a comprehensive report on building construction safety, so we can better track incidents and understand why they occur. Data analysis like this is a critical part of our strategy to help our industry partners properly safeguard their work sites.”

This 2021 report shows that the multi-year decline in building construction-related incidents in the City has continued in 2021, dropping another 10% compared to 2020, and over 40% since 2018. While the number of incidents has continued to decrease, worker injuries and fatalities related to building construction activity saw slight increases in 2021 compared to the previous year. Of note, these slight increases coincided with significant increases in construction activity citywide, including an almost 14% percent increase in permit issuance, and an over 30% increase in new construction floor area when compared to 2020, when the first waves of the pandemic shut down much of the city, and non-essential construction was paused for a significant portion of the calendar year. In previous years, the Department has seen a correlation between the amount of total citywide construction activity and the number of related work site incidents and injuries.
























% +/-

Total Permits Issued (Initial + Renewal)



13.9% +

New Construction Floor Area Square Feet



30.3% +

This decline in construction-related incidents, beginning in 2019, was the first such decrease in almost ten years, and coincides with changes in Department regulations, including mandatory site safety training for workers on larger work sites, increased proactive construction inspection protocols at the Department, and more direct outreach to the construction worker community. The Department is committed to continuing these enforcement and educational initiatives, while working with our partners to implement new ways to increase accountability and promote safety citywide.

"Our construction workers build our city from the ground and are essential in our City's development. While construction safety has improved over the past years following important regulatory changes and stronger enforcement, there is much more to be done because the loss of even one life is one too many. This report gives us critical data needed to determine where our city makes improvements and drastically reduce injuries and reach zero fatalities. I look forward to working with the Department of Buildings to strengthen our codes and enforcement to continue to surpass our current standards for construction safety regulations," said Council Member Pierina Sanchez, Chair of the New York City Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings.

“I commend the Department of Buildings for the effort that they have made to improve construction site safety for the diverse workforce that never stops building our city. As Borough President, I led a task force that resulted in the passage of Local Law 196 of 2017 which mandated site safety managers and strengthened training requirements and enforcement for workers and sites. Along with LL 196, intentional and thoughtful policies like proactive site visits, clearer informational materials, better language access, and more, have decreased incidents, injuries, and deaths. As we continue negotiating the budget, we must ensure DOB receives the resources needed to keep workers in the construction industry safe” said Council Member Gale A. Brewer.

"These reports help inform the measures we need in place to prioritize the safety of workers and the public. It also advances our work to halt violations by unscrupulous contractors and prevent fatalities. Our city has suffered so much loss, we cannot allow more lives to be taken due to greed and irresponsibility," said Council Member Francisco Moya.

"BTEA union contractors continue to have the best safety record performance of any contractor group in New York City and will continue to build with public and worker safety as our highest priority," said Louis J. Coletti, President and CEO of the Building Trades Employers Association. “Even one fatality is too many and we want to make sure that everyone returns home each night."

“It’s vital that construction industry workers feel safe and are safe on the job and in the office. The industry, working alongside our partners at the Department of Buildings, has made great strides to make the workforce physically safer," said Brian Sampson, President of the Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors.  "That requires a daily commitment by leadership at all levels to prioritize safety as a core value. As this report shows, the efforts are paying off.  Yet we cannot rest on the successes of the past.  We must continue to work with the Department and our partners to keep a safety-first culture in the construction industry.”

“AGC NYS shares Acting Commissioner Sirakis’ goal of pushing for safer worksites and concur with the sentiment that Construction is a ‘bedrock industry’ for New York City," said Mike Elmendorf, President and CEO Associated General Contractors of New York State. "We look forward to working with the Acting Commissioner and the Department of Buildings in efforts which include utilizing the valuable information in this report to achieve that goal."

“It’s critical that site safety remains a leading priority for lawmakers, decision makers and all industry stakeholders as construction activity surges in the months and years ahead,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “We’re anticipating a robust pipeline of work with both State and City capital projects preparing to break ground and significant federal investment in large-scale infrastructure projects on its way, which is more reason than ever to ensure that the rigorous safety protocols required at union worksites become the standard across all New York City construction sites. We look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Buildings to ensure that construction workers can have confidence in their safety as they build the future of New York.”

“The construction and development industries are playing a critical role in New York’s economic recovery and attracting good jobs to the region,” said REBNY President James Whelan. “DOB’s ongoing efforts to increase access to valuable data and analysis on safety trends helps these businesses run safe and productive worksites and should be commended.”

“Safety is priority one in our industry — every blueprint, shovel in the ground, and capstone is preceded by considering the safety of those tasked with the completion of the project,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the New York Building Congress. “With a slew of new requirements driven by a global pandemic, construction-related incidents are continuing to decline. Our members are committed to ensuring this trend becomes the norm, and will work, united, to ensure that our industry continues to lead New York and the nation into the future.”

“As we look to build the affordable housing that New Yorkers need and deserve, safety will always be our industry’s first priority,” said Jolie Milstein, President and CEO of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing. “We applaud the city for reducing construction safety incidents even as we ramp up construction activity coming out of the pandemic.”

“We make good policy when we have strong data tracking mechanisms in place," said Charlene Obernauer, Executive Director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH). "We want to thank the New York City Department of Buildings for their work in tracking injuries and fatalities and continuing in their important role of protecting New Yorkers’ safety.”

“New York City’s construction industry is thankfully thriving and doing so safer each year thanks to the safety measures promoted and implemented by DOB,” said James Bifulco, President of Construction Safety Advisory Committee of New York, the State’s premier site safety manager and training provider organization. “As site safety trainers and professionals, we are pleased to see such great results and thankful to have played a role in promoting these new comprehensive safety training requirements. We look forward to continuing to work with DOB and new Acting Commissioner Constadino Sirakis to keep finding new ways to keep workers and passersby sa​fe and sound.”

“The NYCSRA applauds the Department of Buildings for their continued success in making construction sites safer and protecting workers and pedestrians,” said Veronika Sikorski, President of the NYC Special Riggers Association. “Façade restoration professionals perform some of the most dangerous tasks of all construction trades. The NYCSRA is proud to have worked with DOB to implement new safety measures like Local Law 196, which provide workers and supervisors with the training they need to go home safely at the end of the day. We congratulate Acting Commissioner Gus Sirakis on his leadership appointment, and look forward to working with him and the DOB team to continue developing enhanced safety practices in this ever-evolving industry.”

“Protecting construction workers and the general public is paramount," said Matt Duthie, Chair of the Building Owners & Managers Association of Greater New York. "Following a COVID-related construction dip, NYC experienced a significant uptick in construction in 2021. Despite the favorable increase in construction activity in 2021, the City and all participants were effective at minimizing construction related incidents, injuries, and deaths. BOMA New York looks forward to our continued partnership with DOB and the City of New York to support a safety-first culture in the construction industry.”

“In the elevator industry, safety is our top priority. Seeing the second annual NYC Construction Safety Report show a decrease in construction-related incidents for the third year in a row is incredible news as we are always striving to create and maintain safe workplaces. There is still work to be done and NEII is committed to continuing to work with the NYC DOB to advance the innovation of safety technologies and further improve safety at job sites throughout the city. A safer New York is our common goal,” said Amy J. Blankenbiller, Executive Director of the National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII)

"While we are saddened by the nine fatalities reported, organizations like ours and the Association of Contracting Plumbers of the City of New York commit to continue working with the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) and our industry brothers and sisters to less​en the likelihood of construction safety incidents. We are pleased to see site safety trending in the right direction and applaud the DOB and newly Acting Commissioner Gus Sirakis for their tremendous enforcement efforts," said April McIver, Executive Director of the Plumbing Foundation City of New York.

"The MPC looks forward to continue working with the Commissioner to educate and promote construction safety protocols in NYC," said Richard Bonelli, President of the Master Plumbers Council.

“NYSSPE applauds the work that DOB has done to reduce construction related accidents over the past several years," said Joseph Pasaturo PE, President of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers. “We would also like to congratulate Constadino “Gus” Sirakis PE on his appointment as Acting Commissioner of the NYC Department of Buildings. NYSSPE looks forward to working with Commissioner Sirakis in continuing to protect the health, safety and welfare of all New Yorkers as it relates to engineering and construction in New York City.”

“Safety is of the utmost importance for professionals in the design and construction industries," said John Evers, President and CEO of the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York). “ACEC New York applauds the NYC Department of Buildings for not only compiling and releasing this information but also highlighting where improvements can be made to improve safety in the future.”