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New York City mandates 40 hours of safety training for workers

New York City's Department of Buildings (DOB) has announced its final safety training requirements include a mandatory 40 hours for workers and 62 hours for supervisors, according to www.constructiondive.com. The new requirements apply to those working at projects where the DOB mandates construction superintendents, site-safety coordinators or site safety managers to be present onsite.

Workers under the city's new safety regulations already were supposed to have taken at least 10 hours of safety training by March 1, 2018, or be able to prove they have completed equivalent training during the past five years. By Dec. 1, 2018, workers must complete 30 hours of training and supervisors must complete 62 hours. By May 1, 2019, workers must complete a total of 40 hours. The DOB said it could extend these deadlines if there are not enough available training programs.

Workers can satisfy these requirements by taking a 30-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) course in addition to eight hours of fall prevention and two hours of drug and alcohol awareness. Those required to complete safety training also could do so by completing an OSHA 100-hour course. The city's Department of Small Business Services will offer free construction training to those looking for construction work.

When the regulations were proposed in October 2017, city officials said the legislation was in response to an increase in construction-site accidents; at the time, the most recent Mayor's Management Report showed the number of worker injuries rose more than 18 percent in fiscal 2017 from 526 to 622.

In January 2017, the New York City Council introduced a series of safety bills that included a requirement that workers complete 59 hours of safety training and an apprenticeship program. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio opposed the apprenticeship requirement, saying that using apprenticeship programs for nonunion workers would be difficult, and instead proposed raising fines and increasing inspections. The apprenticeship requirement was not included in the final safety legislation.


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