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NYC Promises to Implement Safety Law

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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New York City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr., chair of the city’s Committee on Housing & Buildings, has recently promised to ensure Local Law 196, which requires all construction workers to have completed an approved 100-hour safety training program, is put into effect.

The promise follows a chain of construction worker deaths, having multiple occur within the same week.

Workforce Fatalities

According to the city’s Department of Buildings, recently at a site on 570 Broome Street, Gregory Echevarria was killed after a crane’s counterweight fell on him during the early morning hours. Another worker was also injured from the accident and was taken to a local hospital.

Records show that there were at least two complaints filed about safety concerns prior to Echevarria’s death. After a DOB inspector visited the site, a partial stop work order was rescinded on April 8.

Due to the ongoing investigation after the accident, the DOB has halted work at the site and ordered work on the crane to cease so that it may be dismantled and removed.

© iStock.com / pidjoe

New York City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr., chair of the city’s Committee on Housing & Buildings, has recently promised to ensure Local Law 196, which requires all construction workers to have completed an approved 100-hour safety training program, is put into effect.

The incident was the third to happen on a construction site in the city, just in that week alone. In other parts of New York, a worker fell to his death while laying bricks at Brooklyn Heights co-op and another person was killed at a Turtle Bay rental when falling debris struck them during a masonry repair job.

Cornegy Jr. responded to the series of accidents by saying, “[It’s] a chilling reminder of the danger the men and women who build our city are subjected to day in and day out.

“It is also a reminder of the importance of implementing the construction site safety training mandates of Local Law 196 of 2017, which will be a vitally important way to prevent future fatalities like these.”

In January of this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ released its National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report, broadcasting that in 2017, there were 43 fewer workplace fatalities than the previous year (dropping from 5,190 to 5,147).

However, by mid-January, the Bureau released new numbers (from 2017) on work-related fatalities and injuries in New York City, finding that the construction industry still leads with the most on-the-job deaths. The report showed that that fatal work injuries in general totaled 87 in New York City in 2017, up by 31 from the previous year.

Local Law 196

Although the law was passed in October 2017 by Mayor Bill de Blasio, he chose to leave the hours subject to change, as well as the curriculum, and a Site Safety Training Taskforce was set up to iron out the details with additional help from the Buildings Department.

In May 2018, the DOB announced the official construction safety training requirements. The new requirements, slated to take effect over the next 12 to 28 months, mandated that workers at certain types of jobsites would be required to complete 40 hours of safety training and supervisors would have to complete 62 hours.

While the March deadline for 10 hours of safety training held, the December deadline for the 30 (or 62) hours was given the option to extend to June 1, 2019, if the DOB determined that “there is insufficient training capacity.”

During this time, the law was also criticized as favoring unionized workers, as they obtain the same standards, often as part of an apprentice program.

By November, the deadline was extended by the DOB, adding that workers must take an additional 10 hours of training by Sept. 1, 2020.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Construction; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; Labor; Laws and litigation; NA; North America; PaintSquare App - Commercial; Safety; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Worker training

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