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Licenses You Need on a Construction Site in NY

January 10, 2023
Looking at paperwork at a construction site

To help ensure and preserve the safety of construction sites and workers, New York requires all contractors and workers in the construction industry to carry proper licenses. Business entities and individuals will only receive their licenses if they demonstrate to the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) that they have the necessary experience, skill, and knowledge to obtain a license. The DOB requires licenses for the following:

  • Contractor
  • Electrician
  • Concrete safety manager
  • Construction superintendent
  • Concrete test laboratory
  • Filing representative
  • Elevator agency inspectors and directors
  • Hoisting machine operator
  • High-pressure boiler operating engineer
  • Master plumber
  • Master fire suppression piping contractor
  • Sign hanger
  • Rigger
  • Oil burner equipment installer
  • Special inspection agency
  • Site safety manager and coordinator
  • Welder

In addition, construction labor providers, which are businesses or temp agencies that supply temporary workers to clients for non-union manual labor or construction work on NYC construction sites, must obtain a Department of Worker and Consumer Protection (DCWP) license.

Temporary workers in the construction industry are usually immigrants or people reentering the workforce. Unfortunately, these groups or people are highly susceptible to retaliation and mistreatment if they report suspected abuse. To protect their rights and elevate safety and transparency in the construction industry, their employers must be licensed by the DCWP, maintain accurate records, inform the DCWP of all their operations, and inform their workers of their responsibilities and rights.

The Dangers of Unlicensed Construction Workers

Construction workers and the public should not risk life-changing injuries or death because of a contractor’s negligent actions. Licensing helps protect workers from various safety issues, including:

  • Potential Safety Hazards – There could be grave safety consequences if construction work is not done properly.
  • Poor Work Quality – To be fair, not all unlicensed workers do subpar work, and not all licensed workers do superior work. As a rule, however, most unlicensed workers are often unqualified to perform certain construction work, less experienced, and untrained.
  • Unfamiliarity with Building and Safety Codes – Because they are not familiar with the proper building and safety codes, it’s simply impossible for unlicensed workers to comply with them, increasing the risk of construction hazards.

The implications of hiring unlicensed workers or contractors go beyond the hazards related to the construction site and injury to others. Businesses that hire unlicensed contractors may be held liable for the contractor’s negligence. For example, a passerby, neighboring property, or other property that the contractor damages can result in liability issues for the business that hired the contractor.

Seek Legal Advice From a Seasoned NY Construction Accident Attorney

While New York has high standards for safety practices and licensed professionals in the construction industry, construction accidents still happen in the state, especially if negligent individuals or entities fail to adhere to these standards.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a construction accident, please do not hesitate to reach out to the NY construction accident attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman. Fill out our online contact form or call our office at 212-285-3300 to schedule your complimentary consultation with our NY construction accident attorney today.


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