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NYC Organizations Offer Free OSHA Training

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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New York City-based construction workers now have the option to receive free Occupational Safety and Health Administration training through city-based organizations Building Skills New York and Public Housing Communities Inc.

The announcement for the OSHA-30 courses arrived earlier this year with the intent to help construction workers meet their 30 hours of mandatory training that's required by the city’s Local Law 196, which will go into effect Dec. 1.

About Local Law 196

Introduced in May 2018, a safety training rule was finalized in New York City requiring increased safety training for construction workers in the city.

The spring announcement was a clarification of Local Law 196, which was signed in October 2017 by Mayor Bill de Blasio. At the time, the law dictated that by March 2018, workers were required to have at least 10 hours of safety training and by December 2018, workers were required to have 30 hours of training. (Supervisors were always mandated with 62 hours.)

However, when the law was signed, de Blasio left the hours subject to change, as well as the curriculum, and a task force was set up to iron out the details.

Crain’s reported that the task force met only once, in February, before making its recommendations for the now-approved 40-hour requirement, which applies to workers at sites for which the DOB requires construction superintendents, site-safety coordinators or site-safety managers.

Deadlines have also since been cemented. While the March deadline for 10 hours held, the December deadline for the 30 (or 62) hours was extended to June 1, 2019, if the DOB determines that “there is insufficient training capacity.”

By November, the June extension was used and, beyond that, workers would also be required to take an additional 10 hours of training by Sept. 1, 2020.

In April of this year, New York City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr., chair of the city’s Committee on Housing and Buildings, promised to ensure Local Law 196 is put into effect, after the city suffered from a chain of construction worker deaths, some occurring within the same week.

Cornegy 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.”

However, the following month, a second extension was granted for the increased safety training requirements as administered by OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 to Dec. 1, 2019. The change also granted the Department of Buildings with the option to extend training a third time, so long as the agency announced its decision by Sept. 1. No changes to the 40-hour requirement due by Sept. 1, 2020, were reported.

In July, the DOB released an interactive map showing the location of all the construction sites in New York City where workers and supervisors must have site safety training under 2017’s Local Law 196.

LeoPatrizi / Getty Images

The announcement for the OSHA-30 courses arrived earlier this year with the intent to help construction workers meet their 30 hours of mandatory training that's required by the city’s Local Law 196, which will go into effect Dec. 1.

This map is one component of the Department’s broader efforts to raise awareness about the Local Law 196 training requirements and deadlines, to ensure that all construction workers and contractors are aware of the new rules, the DOB said.

Every site on the map—which is updated daily—has a link to information in the DOB’s online database.

“This is a great resource for contractors and their employees who may be confused about whether the project they’re working on may require Site Safety Training,” said Brian Sampson, Empire Chapter President of Associated Builders & Contractors.

"This will help provide a great deal of clarity in the workplace. We thank the Department of Buildings for putting it together.”

What’s Happening Now

In a partnership between the not-for-profit entities, New York City construction workers can receive free classes fulfilling the OSHA-30 requirements.

According to ENR New York, the classes will educate workers on various safety topics including how to prevent falls, heavy machinery guidance and information on hazardous materials.

“Building Skills believes that New York City’s ongoing construction boom must continue to provide good jobs for residents of the communities in which new projects are being built,” said David Meade, executive director of Building Skills New York.

“We are taking another step to advance that mission ... to ensure that more locally based workers have the safety training they need to gain and maintain good construction jobs.”

Charlene Nimmons, founder and CEO of Public Housing Communities Inc., added, “We are appreciative of what we have built to help those that find themselves on the outskirts of the construction industry.”

Those interested in attending the free construction site safety training can call Building Skills New York at 212-776-4149.


Tagged categories: Construction; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; Laws and litigation; NA; North America; OSHA; OSHA; PaintSquare App - Commercial; Project Management; Safety; Worker training; Workers

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