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Night Work Aimed at Preventing Construction Accidents

The City of New York gives out tens of thousands of after-hours construction permits every year. According to the Department of Buildings, these permits are primarily about safety at construction sites and preventing construction accidents.

Stopping work at 5 p.m. can leave a job site unprotected and in dangerous condition. Residents and passersby are more vulnerable to accidents and injuries, according to city officials. The other reason for night work, of course, is that stopping work every night could add many months or even years to the time it takes to complete a project.

Mayor Bloomberg's office said, "The safest project is one that is completed." Night work is critical to completing projects.

Despite its advantages, night work creates problems, too. The noise is especially difficult for those living nearby. For example, students at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) complain of jackhammers going all night, affecting sleep, grades and quality of life.

The Second Avenue subway construction project goes all night, and at least one Upper East Side resident has vowed to move out of the area until the work is complete. On Coney Island, workers are using pile-drivers, creating what they call "devastating" noise as they rush to repair Hurricane Sandy damage before the start of summer.

Residents who are wondering whether a particular project has permission to work at night can check the permits posted at the site that list the hours when construction is allowed. Of course, people injured in all types of construction accidents, whether during the day or at night, should consult a lawyer to learn about their options.

Source: NBC News, "NYC Allows Tens of Thousands of Overnight Construction Projects," May 7, 2013.