New York Construction Worker Safety Law Signed

October 17, 2017

On Monday, New York Mayor de Blasio signed a new law that mandates NYC construction workers complete at least 40 to 55 hours of training by March 1, 2018. The law is in response to the more than 18 percent increase in injuries on the city's construction sites in fiscal year 2017, from 526 to 622. This year alone, eight NYC construction workers have died on jobsites; 39 deaths since 2014.

The new 1447-C bill covers the city's more than 185,000 construction workers, union and nonunion.

Currently regulation require all workers on projects 10 stories tall or higher to have at least 10 hours of safety training. The new mandate requires all workers to complete ten hours of training by March 2018, then complete another 30 hours by December 1, 2018. Extension may be granted if necessary.

The Real Estate Board of New York and other groups had opposed the bill saying it favored union labor over non-union workers because the unions typically pay for their members' safety training, where as the new law will make non-union workers find and pay for their own courses.

To address those concerns, New York is putting $5 million towards initial training from more than 22 training providers who will be available to train workers.

The controversial legislation, which passed 42-0, will develop a program to provide equal access to construction site safety training. Violations could result in fines of up to $25,000.

The bill’s passage comes after several work site deaths in the past month. It will go into effect immediately with details regarding training levels and fines phased in as of March. Some union workers who have completed previous safety training will not need to retake those hours.

“We’ve had too many deaths on these construction sites,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “We cannot sit idly by and allow this to continue.”

image: NYC Buildings