Construction workers in New York City will soon receive more safety training. A new law aims to decrease construction injuries and deaths by requiring a minimum of 40 hours of safety training.
The bill, Introduction 1447-C, was sponsored by Council Members Jumaane Williams and Carlos Menchaca. It requires 40 to 55 hours of site safety training for workers at most construction sites. The bill also includes several provisions to help workers meet the new training requirements:
- Workers may complete alternative training programs that the DOB has determined to be equivalent to or more extensive than the standard requirements.
- Workers may receive temporary cards after completing 10 hours of training, and they will be allowed to work while they finish training.
- A program developed by the Department of Small Business Services will help day laborers and workers employed by small Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) contractors complete the training requirements.
- The training hour requirements will be phased in over time.
The New York City Central Labor Council praised the bill as necessary in light of the construction boom, as well as the more than 40 construction worker deaths that occurred between 2015 and September 2017.
Not everyone supported the bill, however. The Real Estate Board of New York criticized the bill on several counts, including the lack of capacity needed to train non-union workers and the risk of fraudulent Site Safety Training cards.
Despite these objections, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the bill into law on October 16, along will several other pieces of legislation.
According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, “For the hard-hats in one of our city’s most dangerous jobs, this bill will help get them home to their families at night and keep the general public safe around construction sites.”
Council Member Carlos Menchaca said, "The most simple and effective way we can protect our construction workers and the people around them is by providing them with quality safety training. Putting people in our community in danger for the sake of profit is completely irresponsible.”
The training requirements begin to go into effect on March 1, 2018. By this time, every construction or demolition worker must have completed an OSHA 10-hour class, an OSHA 30-hour class or a 100-hour training program. Full compliancy will be phased in by September 1, 2020 at the latest. To learn more about Introduction 1447-C, read the full text of the law here.
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