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DOB finalizes construction safety training requirements

New York’s Buildings Department has finalized training requirements put in place by last year’s safety legislation.

Construction workers on most major job sites will have to complete 40 hours of safety instruction while supervisors will have to accumulate 62 hours, according to announcement by Building Commissioner Rick Chandler.

“Most construction accidents are preventable, which is why increased safety training is so important,” Chandler said. “Every worker who leaves for the job site in the morning deserves to come home safely at night.”

These standards were recommended by the Site Safety Training Task Force, which was created by last year’s Local Law 196, formerly known as Intro 1447-C. The group recommended that the new rules be implemented in phases over the next 12 to 28 months.

The city’s laborers were already required to complete 10 hours of training by this past March. December 1 is the deadline for workers to complete their next 30 hours and for supervisors to complete their last 52. The Building Department can extend this deadline to May 1, 2019, if it so chooses and then again to September 1, 2020, if necessary.

These new requirements only apply to workers on sites that required to have construction superintendents, site-safety coordinators or site-safety managers, meaning those who work on small, relatively low risk jobs will not be forced to comply.

“Proper worker safety training requirements are a critical component of a well-run worksite and we look forward to working together to create and enforce training programs that will save lives,” Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, said.

Workers can participate in a DOB-approved 100-hour training program or coble together 40 hours of training in a variety of ways, including taking a 30-hour course approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration along with eight hours of fall prevention training and a two-hour on drug and alcohol awareness course. Non-union labor groups pushed for the task force to suggest mandatory drug testing on work sites but that initiative did not make the final list.

Safety-training course providers must be approved by DOB. The department will issue guidelines for providers looking to build courses in the coming weeks.

Also, the city’s Small Business Services Department will develop a program to improve access to safety training for small business employees and day laborers.

“In addition to the free skills trainings we currently provide to jobseekers, we’ll be offering a free construction safety training course that will help ensure equal access for New Yorkers to meet these new requirements,” Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop said.

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