By FERNANDA SANTOS
The Bloomberg administration announced on Sunday that the city would hire 63 more inspectors to enforce safety rules at construction sites, the latest of several measures rolled out since a series of fatal accidents and inspection flaws led to the resignation of the buildings commissioner last month.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the city’s acting buildings commissioner, Robert D. LiMandri, said in a joint statement that the new employees would bring the number of inspectors to 461, or 184 more than there were when Mr. Bloomberg took office in 2002. The cost of hiring the new inspectors is $5.3 million a year.
“We are in the midst of a historic building boom, and the added development demands that we devote sufficient resources to aggressively enforce site safety,” Mayor Bloomberg said in the statement.
Most of the new inspectors will help increase the number of unannounced and prescheduled checks of construction sites, in part to ensure that previously detected violations have been corrected, the officials explained. In addition, the inspectors will tighten the oversight of a certification program for architects and engineers to weed out those who have committed numerous code and zoning violations.
Mr. LiMandri said that adding to the number of inspectors in the field “substantially increases the incentive for developers and contractors to comply with safety regulations.”
In an interview, Joel Shufro, executive director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, which represents construction trade unions, called the addition “a very positive step forward.”
The increase in the number of inspectors comes as the Buildings Department is struggling to deal with a difficult year, with more deaths in construction accidents recorded since January than in all of 2007.
The department has also drawn criticism for its flawed inspection practices. After two firefighters were killed in 2007 in a blaze at the former Deutsche Bank building in Lower Manhattan, investigators found that building inspectors had failed to notice numerous violations, including the dismantling of a standpipe that would have carried water to the firefighters.
And in a particularly troubling episode last month, the former buildings commissioner, Patricia J. Lancaster, conceded at a City Council hearing that the construction of a glass tower at 51st Street and Second Avenue should never have been authorized — an admission that surfaced several weeks after a crane collapse at the site on March 15 killed seven people.
Ms. Lancaster, who was hired by Mayor Bloomberg in 2002 to reform a department with a longstanding reputation for incompetence and corruption, resigned on April 22.
A day after Ms. Lancaster’s resignation, Mayor Bloomberg and Mr. LiMandri, the interim commissioner, introduced a $4 million plan to develop safety procedures at construction sites and hire specialized engineers to assess excavations, crane operations and other types of complex construction work.
The plan also calls for a review of the department’s safety-checking procedures, which could result in changes in the way inspectors do their job.