Do you work on construction projects in New York City? If so, you may be subject to the requirements of Local Law 196 (LL196), which was passed in 2017 and impacts safety training for construction workers.

In response to a number of deaths in fall-related accidents on construction sites, New York City Council enacted a series of comprehensive laws that were designed to improve safety training among construction workers. The most significant, LL196, requires workers to have a minimum of 40 hours of construction training, which will ultimately result in what is called a Site Safety Training (SST) card. (Supervisors are required to have 62 hours of training to obtain a Supervisory SST card.)

Previously, most construction workers in New York City were required to have taken the OSHA 10-hour Construction Outreach course but that no longer applies. If a project requires a DOB-registered Site Safety Plan, a designated Construction Superintendent, Site Safety Coordinator or Site Safety Manager, then construction workers must have the required training.

The most efficient way that construction workers can secure their SST card is by having taken an OSHA 30-hour Construction Outreach course in the past five years. They will then have to take an additional 10 hours of training. The additional 10 hours of training is required to be eight hours of fall protection and two hours of drug and alcohol awareness.

New entrants into the industry may take the OSHA 10-hour Construction Outreach course to obtain a Temporary SST card. They then have six months to get the balance of training. Such a card can only be issued to an individual ONCE.

Despite the best efforts of the industry, full implementation of the law has proven to be extremely difficult due to the limited number of trainers who have been authorized by the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) to provide such training. The issues with capacity have resulted in delays to full realization of the law and more significantly, has required legislative action to help contractors, craft labor, and other stakeholders ensure full compliance.

The language of the law has been adjusted to sharpen the description of who needs to be trained. In the original version of LL196, there was a significant amount of confusion around who needed to be trained. For example, if someone from a utility provider came onto a site to install wiring, would they need the training? Many contractors wondered just that and with input from the industry, City Council provided clarification.

Additionally, workers are now allowed to take 30 hours of training online, as long as that training is commensurate with an OSHA 30-hour Outreach Course and the trainer is listed on DOB’s website as an authorized trainer. Previously, they were not allowed to take online training. However, they must take the additional 10 hours of training (fall protection and drug and alcohol awareness) in person.

Because of the confusion surrounding the original law and the challenges with implementation, the date for full compliance has been pushed to March 2021. By that time, all constructions workers on projects that have a DOB-registered Site Safety Plan, a designated Construction Superintendent, Site Safety Coordinator or Site Safety Manager, are expected to have the required training.

However, it is important to note that the law allows any permit holder to require workers to have the full compliment of training regardless of the conditions described above. Some Construction Management firms and General Contractors are taking advantage of that language and requiring the training for workers on their sites.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon any firm that may work on a construction site to discuss this issue with all stakeholders so that their projects are in full compliance and the workers are protected.

At Walden Environmental Engineering, our skilled staff of professionals have extensive experience helping companies build comprehensive health and safety programs that are in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. If you need help understanding how new legislation may affect your operation, contact us today.

To find a DOB authorized training provider near you, follow the link below.