Construction

Big Apple Ups the Ante on Construction Worker Safety

The New York City Council recently passed legislation that significantly increases training that will be required for construction workers in the City. With new regulations from federal OSHA unlikely in the near future, your state or local government may be looking around for ideas to improve worker protections. Let’s take a look at the new Big Apple requirements.

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Who’s Affected?

The new NYC construction training requirements apply to all workers employed at a major building site including those hired by the permit holder and those hired by subcontractors. Anyone who violates the new requirements face penalties up $5,000.

100 Hours

The new law in New York City requires that anyone working on a permitted construction site be provided 100 or more hours of training in technical subjects related to the construction trade. The training must include an apprenticeship program that is registered with the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) and approved by either the U.S. Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), or the New York State Department of Education (NYSDOE).

Site Safety Training

Site safety training (SST) will be required for workers at a building site for which a construction superintendent, site safety manager, or site safety coordinator is required.

SST Cards

Anyone working on a permitted construction site will be required to have an SST card. The card will be issued by an SST provider and demonstrates that the applicant has completed either:

  • The OSHA 10-hour construction training class and 30–45 additional SST credits, including 8 SST credits related to safeguarding against dangers posed by falling workers and objects;
  • The OSHA 30-hour construction training class and 10–25 additional SST credits, including 8 SST credits related to safeguarding against dangers posed by falling workers and objects; or
  • The NYC 100-hour training program.

An SST credit is 1 hour of training that:

  • Relates to a topic identified in the new law;
  • Is in-person training or actively proctored online training; and
  • Is conducted by an SST provider.

Conditions for actively proctored online training include that the person conducting the training confirms the identification of the person taking the training and that while the training is being conducted, it is actively observed by or on behalf of the person responsible for conducting the training.

Workers who serve as site safety managers, site safety coordinators, concrete safety managers, or construction superintendents will be required to have an SST supervisor card.

Exceptions

The NYC Department of Buildings, which implements the NYC Building Code, may develop a rule that establishes alternative training requirements for workers who:

  • Work on a building that is four stories or fewer in height or working on a new building that will, upon completion of such work, be four stories or fewer in height; and
  • Volunteer for a not-for-profit that is registered with the New York state charities bureau.

Permit Holder Responsibilities

In addition to ensuring that construction and demolition workers receive the training required by the new requirements, permit holders will also be required to certify that the requirements of the new law be met.

Permit holders will also be required to maintain a daily log that identifies each worker and includes for each worker a copy of the appropriate SST card or proof of compliance with the training requirements.

Reduction in Fees or Penalties

Obtain and keep your receipts related to training costs. The new law allows for the reduction of fees or civil penalties for violations other than immediately hazardous violations for anyone who can demonstrate that they paid for the new required training for one or more workers.

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