2018-03-28 / Front Page

New Law Will Help Prevent Construction Related Accidents, Deaths

By Richard Gentilviso
Accidents related to construction took the lives of twelves workers last year in New York City and according to the Department of Buildings (DOB) 645 accidents and 666 injuries were reported citywide in 2017. This year, four workers have died, 119 have been injured, and 120 accidents have occurred just through the month of February city-wide.

“Increased safety training is vitally necessary to protect the men and women who build our city, and all New Yorkers,” said DOB Commissioner Rick Chandler in an October 16, 2017 press release announcing the passage of legislation increasing safety-training requirements for construction workers.

In Queens, three workers died, 95 were injured and 84 accidents were reported last year.

Through February 28 of this year one fatality, 16 injuries and 16 accidents related to construction have been reported in the borough. A single accident may have multiple injuries and/or fatalities.

Local Law 196, passed and signed into law by Mayor de Blasio on October 16, 2017, went into effect on March 1 mandating that workers and supervisors at construction job sites are required to draft a site safety plan and to undergo safety training.

“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 Mayor de Blasio in the release.

Workers are required to receive between 40 and 55 hours of training and supervisors are required to receive between 60 and 75 hours. The training is being phased-in in three parts, beginning on March 1, 2018, with full training required by September 1, 2020. Upon completion, Site Safety Training Cards are issued good for a five-year period.

Workers at job sites that only involve minor alterations or the construction of a new 1-, 2-, or 3-family home are not required to be trained and delivery persons, flag persons, Professional Engineers, Registered Architects, Special Inspectors (excluding safety professionals) are exempt from the training.

Applicants for DOB permits have to certify that workers on site working under permit have the required training. Violations for untrained workers at a construction site are up to $5,000 per untrained worker for site owners, permit holders, and employers of untrained worker(s).

In addition, DOB requires logs be kept of all trained workers. Violation for failing to maintain a log will result in a fine of $2,500.

“There have been far too many construction-related accidents and deaths. This law will help ensure that all construction workers have access to health and safety training that has been proven to save lives,” said Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

For information e-mail LocalLaw196@buildings.nyc.gov.


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