DOB Publishes Construction Reopening Guidance

Posted on June, 5 2020

The Department of Buildings (DOB) has published guidance on restarting construction across the city on Monday, June 8th, 2020. The DOB’s guidance reinforces the New York State Department of Health’s interim guidance on construction.

This newsletter serves as an UPDATE to our newsletter released earlier today prior to publication of DOB guidance and reiterates some of the guidance Mayor de Blasio released this morning.


Department of Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca stated in her press release that DOB inspectors will be visiting every permitted construction site to ensure that all safety requirements and regulations are met. Enforcement during the first month of construction reopening will be an educational campaign and no fines will be issued. After 30 days, DOB inspectors will be issuing violations for non-compliance including Stop Work Orders with a $5,000 penalty per offense. Subsequent violations may carry a $10,000 penalty.


Every construction site must develop a safety plan in compliance with the NYS Interim Guidance For Construction Activities During The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and post conspicuously on site. NYS has published a business reopening template which can be used. Once a safety plan has been developed in accordance with the NYS Interim Guidance the employer must use the link at the end of the guidance document to submit an online affirmation that the employer has read and understands their obligation to operate in accordance with the NYS guidance.

The DOB and DOH have jointly published construction restart guidance to owners and contractors pursuant to NYS Interim Guidance.

Safety requirements, as summarized by the DOB-DOH guidance, include but are not limited to:

  • 6 feet of social distancing
  • Face coverings when work requires less than 6 feet of separation
  • Tightly confined spaces (such as elevators, hoists) must be occupied by one person at a time OR less than 50% of maximum allowed occupants if all occupants are wearing a face covering
    • 50% capacity must be posted inside the cab AND at each landing
  • Designated safety monitor who ensures compliance with all aspects of the site safety plan
  • Signage throughout the site regarding hand hygiene, physical distancing rules, appropriate use of personal protective equipment, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols
  • Safety plan(s) must be conspicuously posted on site along with a copy of the submitted State affirmation
  • Communication plan for employees, visitors, and clients is available on site
  • Hygiene and hand washing stations
  • Cleaning and disinfection logs
  • Updated logs of every worker in close contact with others on-site to facilitate contact tracing
  • The DOB and DOH have jointly published Industry Best Practices for Social Distancing Guidelines for Construction Sites, be sure to review carefully to ensure compliance. DOH has also published a list of FAQs “Reopening New York City: Frequently Asked Questions What the Construction Industry Need to Know“.


All sites which are resuming construction must ensure that all work permits are active. For assistance with initial permits, permit renewals, and after hour variances please contact our office.

  • See our newsletter from earlier this week regarding New York Empire State Development’s (ESD) updated guidance on construction staging.

As more information becomes available we will continue to update our newsletter and website, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance with your project.

To see the latest information released from the Department of Buildings monitor their Phase 1 Reopening page and
COVID-19 response page.