New York City again pushes construction safety deadline

May 17, 2019

On May 8, New York City Council members have once again extended the deadline by which all workers must complete 30 hours of construction safety training from June 1, 2019, to Dec. 1, 2019, according to

Supervisors will need 62 hours of training by the new deadline, and workers must take an additional 10 hours—for a total of 40 hours—by Sept. 1, 2020. Workers can meet the requirement by completing a 30-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration training course; 10-hour OSHA class with 20 hours of additional training (eight hours of fall-prevention training, an eight-hour site safety manager refresher and four hours of scaffold training); a New York City Department of Buildings-approved 100-hour training course; or via previous experience plus four hours of additional training for fall prevention and scaffold training.

Additionally, the change gives the Department of Buildings the option to extend training a third time provided it announces its decision by Sept. 1.

For the first deadline extension, the city reportedly had determined the number of providers was insufficient to meet demand. Instead of imposing fines and penalties and potentially shutting down job sites, building officials decided to extend the deadline.

According to, the original version of Local law 196 was more stringent; in response to increasing construction worker injuries and deaths, city officials proposed a series of reforms, including the requirement that workers complete 59 hours of safety training and an apprenticeship program or its equivalent. However, companies in New York's nonunion construction sector fought the apprenticeship requirement, arguing that unions sponsored nearly 50 percent of such programs in the city to boost their own membership. Although lawmakers ditched the apprenticeship requirement and reduced the total required training hours to 40, some nonunion developers and construction companies say even the 40-hour mandate will cause small businesses to struggle financially.