SWO Common Conditions

Stop Work Orders(SWOs) are issued to protect workers, residents, the public, buildings and properties. See the Stop Work Order Guide to find out when Full or Partial SWOs may be issued.

Stop Work Order Top 10 List

The Department issues a Stop Work Order (SWO) when inspectors determine a site has unsafe work or conditions. See the top 10 violating conditions resulting in an SWO:

Quarter #3, 2023



Percent of Violations Issued


Multiple violating conditions



Work does not conform to approved construction documents and/or approved amendments



Failure to maintain display on site documents required by BC Chapter 33



Work without a permit



Failure to safeguard all persons and property affected by construction operations



Failure to maintain adequate housekeeping per section requirements



Failure to institute maintain safety equipment etc.,- no guard rails



Unlawfully continued work while on notice of a stop work order



Pedestrain protection does not meet code specifications



Work after hours without variance permit contrary to 28-105.12.5


Construction Site Safeguards

  • The ongoing construction work places the public, workers, or properties at risk.
  • Work resulting in a partial/full site collapse.
  • If a required, Site Safety Plan is not filed with the Department, on-site at the time of an inspection, or if the plan is not followed causing the public, adjoining properties, or workers to be placed at risk.
  • The Contractor fails to safeguard either the public or property during construction operations, which resulted in or could result in injury or fatality to workers and the public.
  • If required equipment to protect the public, workers, or adjoining properties is missing or inadequate (including but not limited to horizontal and vertical netting, guard rails, lifelines, or toe boards).
  • When there is a failure to monitor neighboring properties during critical construction operations, i.e. during earthwork, underpinning, or while pile driving.
  • When an inspection finds evidence of design deficiencies, which can lead to structural failure.
  • If construction equipment operations endanger site safety or the public.
  • When required construction site fire safety equipment (i.e. standpipe or sprinkler system) is missing or inadequate.
  • When a worker uses an open flame without the required fire guards, FDNY permit, or Certificate of Fitness. Referrals for such actions will also be made to FDNY.
  • If a required elevator on a construction site is missing or not working.

Tenant Protection

  • If a required Occupancy or Tenant Protection Plan is not on file with the Department or is not being carried out to ensure the safety of people in a building under construction.

Required Egress

  • Doors or required emergency exits (egress) for tenants or workers have been blocked.

Licensee, Registrant, and Construction Safety Professional Requirements

  • When a Site Safety Manager (SSM), Construction Superintendent (CS), Site Safety Coordinator (SSC), Concrete Safety Manager (CSM), Safety Compliance Officer (SCO), or other construction professional is not on site when required to ensure work is performed safely and in compliance with the Construction Codes.
  • If the work in progress requires Special Inspections and the work is not being performed adequately, or when a special inspection form is not on file with the Department or is incomplete.
  • Work that requires a license is performed by an unlicensed individual.
  • Licensee’s/permit holder’s required insurance has lapsed.

Permits and Plans

  • When any work requiring DOB approval is performed without a permit or other authorization from the Department.
  • If approved, construction plans are not onsite while work is on-going.
  • When a permit is expired and work is in progress.
  • If the Department revokes a permit for any reason.
  • When work being performed is significantly different than what is stated in the approved plans related to the structure, fire rating, fire protection, fire detection, fire suppression, or other life safety requirements.
  • If work is performed outside of standard construction hours or, on the weekends, without an approved After-Hours Variance (AHV) work permit.
  • When a building is enlarged beyond what is allowed for the zoning district of the property.
  • If construction operations encroach on a public right-of-way or open space without proper authorization.


  • When the Commissioner determines an investigation is necessary after an audit, due to documented violations of the Code or improper construction practices.
  • If construction documents are missing or incomplete, so as to not provide a clear indication of the approved scope of work for a project.

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