NYC DOB supports bill to delay 40-hour safety training requirement because of COVID-19 challenges

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NYC’s Department of Buildings (DOB) supports a a bill that would give construction workers more time to complete their 40 hours of safety training, saying at a hearing on Aug. 18 that it is okay to move the deadline from September to March.

“We have no objections to this extension, but I urge our construction workforce not to delay this potentially lifesaving training,” DOB Commissioner Melanie La Rocca said. “The sooner this training is completed, the better for both workers and the public.”

The bill, sponsored by City Councilmen Robert Cornegy and Carlos Menchaca as well as Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, would give construction workers until March 1, rather than Sept. 1, to comply with Local Law 196, Crain’s New York Business has reported. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult to observe the requirements under the 2017 measure that imposed stricter safety standards on the construction industry, requiring workers to complete 40 hours of trainingR

Workers have been required to complete 30 hours of training by last June 1. The original deadline for the 30 hour requirement was Dec. 1, 2018, but this was delayed because of a lack of approved instructors.

La Roccas said the DOB has collected about $2 million in penalties due to workers not having proper safety training, She said  the pandemic had made it harder for workers to complete their 40 hours of safety training but also stressed how important it is for them to complete the process.

“For many workers who are seeking to satisfy their training requirement, the remaining 10 hours of training includes eight hours of fall prevention,” she said. “This training is critical to improving site safety.”

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