Photo Courtesy of DOB
“This new tool will be very helpful for the industry as we need to assure that all worksites are safe,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and member of the Site Safety Training Task Force.
By Michael V. Cusenza
The City Department of Buildings on Thursday launched a new, interactive map showing the addresses of 8,000 construction sites across the five boroughs where workers and supervisors are required—by law—to have site safety training.
According to DOB, by entering the address of their workplace and seeing if it appears on the agency’s map, any construction worker or employer can find out instantly whether they or their site must have safety training. The map is one element of a sweeping measure aimed at increasing safety training requirements for construction workers that Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law in October 2017. According to elected officials, the law outlines certain training and qualification requirements that the persons engaged in the construction and demolition of certain buildings must meet. The law: establishes site safety training requirements for workers at most construction sites (excluding sites that involve buildings with only one to three dwelling units or minor work); requires workers to undergo between 40-55 hours of safety training; allows workers to fulfill their training requirement by completing an alternative training program, such as an apprenticeship program, but only if DOB determines that that program is equivalent to, or more extensive than, the standard safety training requirements; and allows laborers to continue working while they complete training. After completing 10 hours of initial training, workers will be eligible for temporary cards that will authorize them to work on construction sites while they complete the rest of the required training.
Construction and demolition workers at the permitted work sites that are marked on the new map currently must have at least 10 hours of safety training, and will be required to have at least 30 hours of training by Dec. 1. These same workers will be required to obtain at least 40 hours of safety training once the law is fully phased in on Sept. 1, 2020. Additionally, as part of the law, the City Department of Small Business Services is developing a program to provide greater access to construction jobs through safety training, particularly for day laborers, employees of small businesses, and new entrants to the construction industry.
According to DOB officials, the map is one component of the agency’s broader efforts to raise awareness about the new law’s training requirements and deadlines, to ensure that all construction workers and contractors are aware of the new rules. In addition to the map, DOB has also released a public service announcement campaign that includes TV, radio, print, and subway ads; performed direct outreach to workers at construction sites; and hosted public information sessions.
“We’ve been saying for many years that rigorous safety training is the single most critical and effective way to protect the construction workforce,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and member of the Site Safety Training Task Force. “This new tool will be very helpful for the industry as we need to assure that all worksites are safe.”
For more information on DOB Site Safety Training, visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/safety/sst-safety.page.