NYC Inks Deal with Tech to Track Safety Training


The New York City Department of Buildings has recently partnered with tech company myComply to build and administer software behind a new training credential database.

The new system will require that the city’s more than 150,000 construction workers all have a “myComply smart badge,” which is programmed into the database. The goal is for the city to have a standard, verifiable place for training records.

According to myComply, this strategy is part of a plan that resulted from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Local Law 196 push, a set of safety regulations that began in 2017.

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 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 2019, 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

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.”

In October 2019, city-based organizations Building Skills New York and Public Housing Communities Inc. announced that construction workers would now have access to free Occupational Safety and Health Administration training, with the intent to help workers meet their 30 mandatory hours.

What Now

The partnership with myComply (a five-year contract worth $1.2 million) was announced on Jan. 19, and the deadline for workers to pick up their badges is March 1, which is when the company and the DOB will start populating the database.

Contractors will be able to verify a worker’s information on the database by either scanning their badge or searching for them manually, and when DOB inspectors are onsite for inspection they will have access to the database.

In accordance with Local Law 196, if a site inspector identifies untrained workers on a job, the permit holder could be fined up to $5,000 per worker.


Tagged categories: Government; Health & Safety; Health and safety; NA; North America; Regulations; Safety; Technology

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