Real Estate Weekly
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Construction & Design

Commissioner takes local law safety message on the road

Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca has taken the city’s construction safety campaign on the road.

She and staff members visited 1,000 construction sites throughout the five boroughs in a day-long public outreach blitz to inform contractors and workers that new safety-training requirements will take effect on December 1.

At that time, construction and demolition workers at a large construction sites in New York City will be required to have at least 30 hours of site-safety training, and supervisors must have at least 62 hours of training.

The exact locations of approximately 7,000 construction sites where training is required can be seen in DOB’s interactive map.

“My staff and I have been on the road all day directly engaging contractors and workers on large construction sites about the new training requirements, and making sure that developers and contractors understand that they are responsible for ensuring that their workers are properly trained,” said Commissioner La Rocca.

“My staff is excited for tomorrow, when we will be joining our colleagues at the Mayor’s Office to bring the message that ‘safety training saves lives’ directly to the day laborer community.”

DOB representatives conducting the site visits today handed out multi-lingual printed materials about the upcoming site safety training deadline, and answered questions about the training workers need, as well as how the Department will be enforcing this requirement.

DOB inspectors from its Construction Safety Compliance (CSC) unit will be routinely conducting unannounced, proactive inspections of every work site where training is required and checking that everyone working on the site has the proper safety training.

If workers at a construction site lack proper training, the Department will issue three separate violations to: the owner of the site, the permit holder, and the employer of the untrained worker.

Each violation carries with it civil penalties that go as high as $5,000 per untrained worker.

The civil penalties can be mitigated if an employer sponsors training for the untrained worker. To meet the upcoming training requirements, workers and supervisors can obtain safety training from any DOB-approved course provider, which can be sorted by location using its interactive course provider map, or by taking OSHA-10 or OSHA-30 classes from an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certified training provider.

In an effort to make the training more accessible, applications are also now open for the Construction Site Safety Reimbursement Program, a one-time grant through the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) for small construction firms, with 1-15 employees, to offset the cost of site safety training.

The tour was the latest phase of the Department’s ongoing initiative to inform workers, contractors, developers, and property owners of LL 196, which, when fully implemented in September 1, 2020, will require workers on major construction sites in New York City to have 40 hours of site safety training.

Previous outreach and education efforts have included information sessions for stakeholders in the construction industry, multilingual press interviews with the media, multilingual advertisements in 30 community newspapers, and 1,000 subway ads system-wide, direct worker outreach at work sites by DOB construction inspectors and staff from the Department’s Community Engagement unit, a food truck tour of construction sites citywide this summer, a webpage dedicated to information on LL196 site safety training, a television broadcast PSA campaign, and direct mailings to all safety professionals and LL 196 permit holders.

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