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City provides remote training, license renewal for construction workers

Thousands of city construction professionals will be able to get their safety certificates online under a new program just launched by the city’s Department of Buildings.

For the first time, plumbers, electricians, riggers and site safety workers will able be able to renew their licenses online.

Commissioner Melanie La Rocca

“We are rapidly adapting how we do business to ensure workers and the public remain safe during these uncertain times,” said Department of Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca. “Making as many services as possible available online is essential to helping stop the spread of COVID-19 and protecting our friends and neighbors.”

The online expansion includes classes will be delivered live and adhere to DOB’s accreditation standards. The newly available professional training courses will be available in English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin) and Polish. You can read more here.

Site Safety Training (SST) courses were already provided online, so workers on larger and more complex work sites could get the safety training they need and continue working. All construction and demolition workers on the city’s SST sites are required by law to have at least 40 hours of approved safety training by September 1, 2020.

According to the DOB, mandatory SST has been a contributing factor in the decrease of construction related injuries, which saw a decline of over 20 percent last year – the first drop in nearly a decade. As of April, more than 80,000 SST cards, which show proof that the training has been completed, have been issued.

To help keep New Yorkers safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19, DOB’s borough offices have worked to reduce in-person transactions and moved most services online, resulting in an over 90 percent reduction of foot traffic. It’s DOB NOW online filing portal, also continues to expand offering more job types, license types, and building filings.

“I applaud the steps the Department of Buildings is taking to adapt to the dangers the COVID-19 pandemic presents,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Chair of the City Council’s Housing & Buildings Committee. “Adjusting to allow for online training and online license renewals will contribute to keeping our shared communities safe.”

“Our members provide essential plumbing services that protect the health and safety of New York City residents,” said Rick Benelli, Master Plumbers Council President.  “The DOB’s aggressive technology efforts, which began before Covid-19, jumped into high gear as this crisis grew. We applaud Commissioner La Rocca’s leadership, ability to promptly modify procedures and consistent communication with our industry and the public during this crisis.”

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