NYC DOB Tells Contractors How to Safely Wind Down Construction Sites


By Arianna Christopher and Aaron S. Brotman of Cole Schotz P.C.
Published April 1, 2020

As a result of the “stop work order” on construction in New York State, many projects are now being suspended. In shutting down, it is crucial that the workforce and the public are protected. The Department of Buildings (DOB) offered guidance on how to do that, and what is required for a suspended project, in Buildings Bulletin 2020-004.

As a project owner or contractor, your obligation to protect the personnel and the public extends both to typical construction hazards as well as the novel coronavirus. The Bulletin specifies twenty-two minimum requirements for sites generally, eight specific guidelines for projects suspended in the excavation/foundation phase and an additional two for projects in existing buildings. These measurers are wide ranging and include both one-off acts such as sloping of cuts to prevent erosion and securing equipment to ongoing actions such as maintaining watchpersons and implementing rodent control plans. The guidance also notes that additional measures may be ordered by the DOB based on site-specific conditions.

The ongoing COIVD-19 pandemic is presenting a unique challenge for everyone involved in the construction industry. All owners and contractors should review the Bulleting to confirm compliance, but must recognize that each job may require additional step no covered by the Bulleting to ensure construction sites are safely shut down and legally compliant.

See the Cole Schotz COVID-19 Resource Center here.


Arianna ChristopherArianna Christopher is a Member in the New York office of Cole Schotz P.C. With expertise in intellectual property and dispute resolution, as well as extensive experience in a wide range of commercial transactions and litigation, her clients benefit from increased perspective and a holistic approach to their business and legal needs. She can be reached at or 646.563.8943.


Aaron S. BrotmanAaron S. Brotman is an associate in the Real Estate department and resident in Cole Schotz’s New York office. His practice focuses on land use, development and construction law. Aaron guides clients through every aspect of building and development, from acquisition to entitlement and approvals through the construction process to project completion. He has represented owners and contractors in construction contract negotiation and dispute resolution and strives to find effective, efficient and long-term solutions. He can be reached at or 646.532.5321.