The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB ) says that the agency has suspended the registration of general contractor Ideal Builders and Construction and its construction superintendent, Fazal Hassan.
DOB’s action prevents Ideal from working as a general contractor and Hassan from working as a construction superintendent in NYC, the DOB said in a June 28 statement.
In the previous week, a floor collapse at a construction site operated by Ideal and supervised by Hassan trapped three workers, resulting in serious injuries.
DOB says Hassan and the company have been issued 14 public-safety-related violations over the last two years. While no injuries were reported to DOB on Ideal/Hassan sites prior to last week’s accident, DOB determined that the conditions that led to these previous violations – coupled with the recent collapse – demonstrate that Ideal and Hassan pose an unacceptable risk to workers and the public, the DOB news release said.
“Cutting corners on the job site and improperly loading excessive weight on the third floor caused the collapse that pinned three workers last week,” Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler said in a statement. “Mr. Hassan and his firm neglected their duties on this and other construction sites and showed disregard for the lives of workers and the public. Bad actors in the construction industry need to get the message: The city will not tolerate those who endanger people’s lives.”
The DOB says that on June 20, Ideal and Hassan were acting as the general contractor and construction superintendent, respectively, for a project to add another floor to an existing building at 31-25 28th Rd. in Astoria, Queens.
Following a delivery of construction materials, the building’s third floor collapsed, seriously injuring three workers.
The DOB statement says investigators from DOB’s emergency response team and forensic engineering unit determined that the collapse occurred because Hassan allowed multiple pallets of cinderblocks and other heavy construction materials to be loaded on the newly-built third floor – which was constructed without adequate structural supports and without first getting an engineer’s assessment of the floor’s structural stability, as is required under the city’s construction codes. “The weight of the construction materials caused the floor to collapse through the second and first floors into the building’s basement, trapping the workers,” the statement said.
In addition, DOB determined that at the time of this incident, Hassan was designated as the construction superintendent on more than 10 jobs – the maximum allowable number under the law. Accordingly, DOB determined that Hassan failed to adequately supervise construction projects under his management and ensure that they are safe.
Under the NYC Administrative Code, the department is granted a wide array of disciplinary enforcement actions for construction professionals who fail to comply with the NYC construction codes and the various other laws the agency enforces. In addition to issuing violations, the department can place stop work orders on jobs, assess civil penalties, suspend and revoke licenses, and, where necessary, refer cases for criminal prosecution, the statement said.