40 Hour Safety Mandate
NYC Law mandates that all construction workers must take safety courses
With construction deaths on the rise in New York City, Mayor Bill DeBlasio has signed a new bill into law that will drastically increase the amount of safety training a construction worker must have before they can begin working on a job site.
The bill will require construction workers who work on buildings 10 stories or taller must go through 40-55 hours of safety training, depending on their trade. This new requirement will affect tens of thousands of workers. Since 2015, 39 construction workers have died on the job. The bill also includes $5 Million in funding for training, as well as increased penalties for employers who allow untrained employees to continue working. The bill, which was strongly supported by New York City’s Building Trades Unions, unanimously was passed by the City Council in September.
“Today’s historic bill signing represents the next chapter in the progressive fight for safer workplaces and their surrounding areas. This law is a significant step in the right direction for improving worker and public safety alike and standardizing rigorous training in New York City,” said New York City Building Trades President Gary LaBarbera. The bill, which was sponsored by Council members Jumaane Williams and Carlos Menchaca, was about creating a baseline that helped to protect everyone. “Construction work is as dangerous as it is important to the city,” said Menchaca. “I take very seriously the safety of workers and the public, and it is clear that big changes have to be made.”
The training will be phased in over the next year, although construction workers will need to accumulate 10 hours of training by March and 30 hours by December. The city hopes to have all of the construction workers completely trained within the next 18 months.