The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) says that approved training providers have issued over 100,000 Site Safety Training (SST) cards to construction workers and DOB-licensed site safety professionals working in the city
The agency says the new safety training rules have contributed to a greater than 20 percent decrease in work site injuries in New York City last year, the first decrease in injuries in almost 10 years.
This milestone comes with just four months remaining until the final SST training deadline for construction workers to obtain 40 hours of safety training, needed to work on any of NYC’s more than 5,400 larger and more complex work sites across the city, DOB said in an Oct. 29 statement.
The SST card requirement is part of local legislation Local Law 196 of 2017, which requires workers on larger construction sites in New York City to take OSHA and DOB approved safety courses.
“This is a critical milestone in creating a culture of safety to keep workers safe in the construction industry,” said Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca. “Our commitment to creating safe worksites will continue until each and every one who steps foot on a construction site in the morning knows they will return to their families safely that evening. With the final SST deadline fast approaching, I encourage every worker to get their training as soon as possible.”
Currently, construction and demolition workers at all SST construction sites across the city are required to have 30 hours of safety training, and DOB-licensed site safety professionals at those sites are required to have 62 hours of safety training. The final compliance deadline for construction workers on SST work sites to obtain at least 40 hours of required safety training, and their full SST Card, is March 1, 2021.
DOB says it has nearly 100 approved course providers that offer site safety training in multiple languages throughout the New York City metro area. About half of these training providers offer SST courses online in a format that complies with Local Law 196.
“Our online course provider map shows the location of each of these providers, and is sortable by course, language offering, and online training availability,” the statement says.
In an effort to make this training more accessible, applications are also open for the Construction Site Safety Reimbursement Program, a one-time grant through the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) for small construction firms, with 1-15 employees, to offset the cost of site safety training.
Since the passage of Local Law 196 of 2017, DOB has been conducting proactive visits at construction sites across the city, informing workers and employers of this safety training requirement, while keeping the industry informed of upcoming deadlines, and ways to obtain the training.
Additional outreach and education efforts have included online worker safety sessions, in-person information sessions for stakeholders in the construction industry, multilingual press interviews with the media, multilingual advertisements in dozens of community newspapers, a system-wide subway ad campaign, direct worker outreach at work sites by DOB construction inspectors and staff from the Department’s Community Engagement Unit, a food truck tour of construction sites citywide, a detailed webpage dedicated to information on Local Law 196 site safety training, a television broadcast PSA campaign, and direct mailings to all DOB-licensed safety professionals and permit holders whose work requires Local Law 196 trained workers.