After more than 30 construction workers died on the job in the last three years, Mayor Bill de Blasio recently signed a bill into law, which will institute mandatory construction safety training standards for all city workers.
“New York City is built on the ideals that every single person deserves a city whose hard-working construction workers will get the safety training they need. For the hard-hats in one of our city’s most dangerous jobs, this bill will help get them home to their families at night and keep the general public safe around construction sites,” said de Blasio.
New Construction Safety Law Raises City Standards
The City Council unanimously passed this bill in September, which stipulates that workers must have at least 40 hours of safety training on construction sites by September 2020. This is an increase of 30 hours above what is currently required today. The construction safety requirements will be phased in over several years.
- The first 10 hours must be completed by March 2018.
- By Dec 1, 2018, construction laborers must have 30 hours of training.
- Five months after that, everyone must reach 40 to 55 hours.
- Extensions may be granted if necessary.
In addition, the law creates a 14-member task force that will monitor whether or not construction companies meet the new safety standards. Under the new legislation, employers, owners and developers could be subject to fines up to $5,000 per untrained worker.
Funds Approved for Small Contractors
As part of the legislation, New York City is committing $5 million to help ensure contractors have access to construction safety training. Some of these funds will be set aside for small contractors who wouldn’t be able to afford employee safety training.
“Construction work is as dangerous as it is important to the city,” said City Councilman Carlos Menchaca, a co-sponsor of the construction safety bill. “I take very seriously the safety of workers and the public, and it is clear that big changes have to be made. The most simple and effective way we can protect our construction workers and the people around them is by providing them with quality safety training.”