NEW YORK – Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler today announced increased safety training requirements for many of the city’s construction workers. DOB will mandate that workers at certain job sites have 40 hours of safety training and that supervisors have 62 hours of training. These requirements will take effect in stages over the next 12 to 28 months.
Local Law 196 of 2017, which Mayor de Blasio signed into law last October, called for the Buildings Department to develop the training requirements in consultation with a Site Safety Training Task Force. The Task Force submitted its recommendations to DOB earlier this year.
“Most construction accidents are preventable, which is why increased safety training is so important. Every worker who leaves for the job site in the morning deserves to come home safely at night. I thank Mayor de Blasio, our partners in the City Council, and the members of the Site Safety Training Task Force for their work to improve safety for workers and the public,” said Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, PE.
"Every day, tens of thousands of men and women make their way to construction sites throughout New York City to begin an honest day’s work. These same men and women should be able to return home safely at the end of the day. The enhanced site safety training requirements being announced today will ensure more New Yorkers who make a living building our city will be afforded that opportunity," said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Chair of the New York City Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings.
“I am very pleased that all parties involved in this complicated process were able to come together with DOB and develop a curriculum that will be comprehensive both in duration and in content. Training requirements built upon a base of existing OSHA practices will help to facilitate the rollout of the essential life-saving programs that Local Law 196 puts in place,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, co-prime sponsor of the law. “Now that the content of the program is in place, we must ensure that this training is available to all workers, in all communities, regardless of affiliation. We have a responsibility to equip those who build our city with the proper tools and training to work safely and come home at the end of the day, and I thank Council Member Menchaca, the Administration, and all who are engaged in making this safety legislation a priority.”
“We’ll never stop building in New York, but we can and must stop the tragedy of worksite deaths,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, co-prime sponsor of the law. “We need to develop the best training, safety, and inspection regime in the world. With Local Law 196 and these new safety training requirements, we’ve made important steps toward that urgent goal.”
State Senator Marisol Alcantara said, "I am pleased to hear that NYC will be increasing the safety standards training for the city's construction workers. While life is full of unavoidable risks, the workplace does not have to be. We have come a long way in ensuring that every laborer has the training and tools they need to do their jobs in a safe manner, that protects both them and the public."
The safety-training requirements announced today apply to workers at sites for which DOB requires construction superintendents, site-safety coordinators, or site-safety managers.
In March 2018, these workers were required to have at least 10 hours of safety training. By December 1, 2018, workers will be required to have 30 hours of training and supervisors will need to be trained for 62 hours. This deadline can be extended to June 1, 2019 if DOB determines that there is insufficient training capacity. By May 1, 2019, workers will be required to have 40 hours of safety training. This deadline can be extended to September 1, 2020 if DOB deems it necessary.
Workers can satisfy the 40-hour training requirement in a variety of ways, including taking a 30-hour safety course approved by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plus 8 hours of training on fall prevention and two hours of training on drug and alcohol awareness, or by participating in a DOB-approved 100-hour training program of the kind typically completed by union apprentices. Details on the types of training required can be found in a recent DOB bulletin to industry stakeholders.
Safety-training course providers must be approved by DOB. Information on becoming a DOB-approved course provider can be found on the department’s website. In the coming weeks, the Department will be issuing guidelines that DOB-approved course providers can use to build their curriculum for approval. Additional information on the safety-training requirements can be found here.
In addition, as part of Local Law 196 the City’s Department of Small Business Services will develop a program to provide greater access to construction jobs through safety training and to fulfill Mayor Bill de Blasio’s commitment to train the employees of small businesses and day laborers.
“In addition to the free skills trainings we currently provide to jobseekers, we’ll be offering a free construction safety training course that will help ensure equal access for New Yorkers to meet these new requirements,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services.
“There’s nothing more important than keeping New Yorkers safe, including on the clock. These new training requirements will provide construction workers, including immigrant workers, with critical information on how to avoid preventable accidents and maintain safe workplaces,” said Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “Immigrant workers drive our local economy every day, and we look forward to working with our sister agencies and local organizations so that more workers can get the training they need.”
“Proper worker safety training requirements are a critical component of a well-run worksite and we look forward to working together to create and enforce training programs that will save lives,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the 100,000 member Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.
“Construction is the most dangerous industry in our City, with high risks of injury for construction workers. Workers’ access to construction safety training programs through Local Law 196 will create a trained workforce and make sites safer for everyone,” said Charlene Obernauer, Executive Director, New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH).
“This is a national construction safety model that will work to protect all workers on all sites across the City that present the greatest risk to worker and public safety,” said Louis Coletti, President and CEO, Building Trades Employers’ Association.
“As a national association dedicated to safety, we’ve been outspoken about making sure that any training for construction workers did not turn into a nightmare for contractors and their employees. We’re pleased with the progress made on this issue. The Department of Buildings (DOB) has done a good job of identifying a safety curriculum that’s not only appropriate and fair but accessible in the community. We’re confident that contractors and their employees will be able to find the training needed to meet the standards under Local Law 196. We look forward to continuing to work with the DOB and other interested parties to ensure that New York City has the highest accessible safety standards and that all workers can be safe and return home each day to their family,” said Brian Sampson, President, Associated Builders and Contractors,
“The Construction Safety Advisory Committee of New York (CSACNY) is proud to have worked closely with the Council, DOB and the Mayor’s office to help craft Local Law 196, and we applaud the Site Safety Training Task Force for the work they have done to date,” said James Bifulco, President of CSACNY. “Local Law 196 is the first step toward changing the culture of construction safety training throughout our City. We look forward to continuing our work with DOB and the Task Force to ensure training providers have the experience required to properly train all workers and to protect vulnerable populations from fraudulent actors.”
“We commend the Department of Buildings for initiating a process to ensure consistent, high-quality site safety training across New York City worksites. Building Congress members strive to provide the highest level of safety on their sites and we look forward to working with DOB in the future to ensure their new training programs are fair and consistent with these high standards,” said Carlo A. Scissura, Esq., President and CEO, New York Building Congress.
“I am encouraged by the passage of this legislation and the efforts made by the NYC Department of Buildings to implement the required safety training for individuals involved in the building trades in our great city,” said Reverend Monsignor Alfred LoPinto, President and Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
“NYSAFAH is committed to promoting construction safety as part of our members’ ongoing efforts to build much-needed affordable housing for New Yorkers. The release of this safety training curriculum represents a significant step forward in the implementation of Local Law 196 and we look forward to working with the Buildings Department on this important issue moving forward,” said Jolie Milstein, President and CEO, NYSAFAH.