Anyone in the construction business knows that demolition and construction can be very dangerous work. Workers must take every precaution to protect themselves from the constant safety hazards and potential risks of the job. To that end, the Department of Buildings (DOB) is constantly strengthening its construction-safety guidelines, and Local Law 196 is no exception. This set of construction-safety laws takes effect on three different dates, and the details can be confusing. No worries, though; as always, Jack Jaffa & Associates is here to walk you through the latest changes in the NYC compliance code.
What is Local Law 196?
Local Law 196 of 2017 was passed in response to the rising number of construction-related injuries and fatalities around the city. The law requires those work sites that are required to have a site safety plan, a site safety coordinator/manager, or a construction superintendent. The law also requires proof that all construction workers have completed the minimum levels of safety training which have increased for all workers and supervisors, as detailed below.
When will Local Law 196 go into effect?
Local Law 196 was instituted to take effect in three separate stages:
- On March 1, 2018, all workers at construction sites were required to have a minimum of 10-hours of OSHA construction safety training.
- On December 1, 2019, all workers at construction sites are required to have increased their safety training to 30 hours. Supervisors are required to have increased their safety training to 62 hours.
- On September 1, 2020, all workers at construction sites will need to increase their safety training to 40 hours.
Workers and supervisors can obtain safety training from any DOB-approved course provider or by taking OSHA-30 classes from an OSHA certified training provider.
The DOB issued a mailing to all contractors, job site owners, permit holders and some licensees, reminding them to comply with the new law.
As part of these new training requirements, the DOB also requires the presence of information signs at all construction sites, effective October 15, 2019. The signs must contain clear information about the required worker safety training and include all site safety training deadlines and the number of required training hours for each worker. The information must be available in every language used by the workers at the construction site. The signs must be properly sized (44” wide, 30” high) and constructed and placed as per the specific code requirements.
How will the DOB enforce the new safety requirements?
The DOB is making every effort to enforce the new training requirements. When applying for permits, contractors and job site owners will be asked to certify that their workers have the required training. The DOB will also conduct unannounced inspections to verify that all training requirements were met.
Effective April, 2018, the DOB also requires all permit holders to maintain a daily log which clearly lists all construction workers, demolition workers, and supervisors, as well as proof of their completed safety training as per Local Law 196 in the form of an SST or OSHA card.
What kind of violations will be issued in case of non-compliance with Local Law 196?
If a permit holder’s daily log of workers, and/or a copy of each worker’s SST or OSHA card are not available upon request by the DOB, a fine of $2,500 will be issued. The absence of record-keeping will also establish a presumption that all workers have not completed sufficient training.
In case of non-compliance with training requirements, the DOB will issue a $5000 fine for every untrained worker to the site owner, permit holder, and the employer. Violations can only be corrected when the owner, permit holder, or employer enters into an agreement to satisfy the training requirements at no cost to the untrained workers. The workers must remain employed and receive full compensation until their trainings have been completed.
How do I know if a job site requires safety training?
Are there any other changes to construction safety requirements?
There are numerous safeguards and precautions required for construction and demolition jobs which are already in effect under the NYC Construction Code. You can check out Chapter 33 of the code for a full listing of all requirements.
There is a new addition to these precautions which recently went into effect with the DOB’s safety initiative, requiring employers to provide construction workers with safety harnesses.
Here at Jack Jaffa & Associates, our primary goal is to keep our clients informed of new DOB requirements and to make compliance as easy as possible. You can count on us to always keep you in the loop!