BY STEPHANIE GASKELL
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Minor violations are shutting down construction sites and costing contractors millions of dollars as the Buildings Department cracks down on inspections in the wake of the deadly East Side crane collapse, a new report has found.
A top industry group says the city is paralyzed by fear after eight people were killed when a massive crane fell in Turtle Bay on March 15, according to Crain's New York Business.
"These inspectors are all afraid of losing their jobs," Louis Coletti of the Building Trades Employers' Association told Crain's.
In April, there were 1,403 stop-work orders on construction sites in the city - nearly double the 785 issued in January. Construction workers and site managers told the mag they were shut down for minor paperwork technicalities.
Acting Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri denied the city is going out of its way to slow down work sites.
"Some might argue that certain safety precautions aren't really necessary, but the law is very specific in the precautions that need to be taken," LiMandri told Crain's. "Development is very important to New York's future, but we are not going to compromise public safety."
LiMandri replaced Patricia Lancaster last month after a series of Buildings Department black eyes.
So far this year, 14 workers have died in eight separate accidents across the city.