New York City has started implementing a law requiring a minimum of 40 hours of safety training for all of the city’s 185,000 construction workers.
Mayor Bill de Blasio recently approved the new law, Int-1447, that required workers to receive 10 hours of safety training by March 1, 2018, and then a further 30 to 45 hours of training by Dec. 1. This follows an increase in worker injuries from 526 to 622 over the previous years.
Among the additional hours, eight must consist of “safeguarding against the dangers posed by falling workers and objects.” Periodic refresher courses are also required. Construction companies can be fined as much as $25,000 for non-compliance.
Non-union contractors argued that the new rules give unionized contractors an unfair advantage because apprenticeship training is being treated the same as safety training.
The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) earlier issued a statement, saying:
“We share the goal of the Mayor and the City Council to improve safety at every construction site,” the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) said in a statement reported by Crains. “The latest version of the legislation is an improvement. However, it fails to address basic questions like ensuring there will be sufficient training providers or how workers without an on-going relationship with a contractor will pay for and obtain training.
“Unfortunately, the legislation continues to claim union apprenticeship training is the same as safety training,” the REBNY statement said. “This legislation runs the risk of putting tens of thousands of construction workers on the unemployment line. We will continue to advocate that the City put in place a regime that will actually improve construction safety without depriving City residents the opportunity to access construction jobs that have historically served as a path to the middle class.”