New Construction Safety Requirements in Place in NYC

Next year, the New York City building code will require construction firms and workers, including glazing contractors and glaziers, to satisfy new safety training requirements.

Last week, Mayor Bill DeBlasio signed into law controversial legislation that revises the city’s building code to require that construction workers undergo a minimum of 40 hours of Occupational Safety and Health Administration-approved safety training before working on a job.

According to the law, workers will be issued Site Safety Training (SST) cards upon their completion of the training. Some workers who have completed equivalent training, for example though a union apprenticeship, may be exempt from the requirements.

They will be required to log ten hours by March 1, 2018, and the remaining 30 hours by December 1, 2018. This second deadline, however, may be extended into 2020 if the city determines there is not enough training infrastructure in place to meet demand in the allotted time.

The law signing comes less than a month after the City Council passed the legislation, which had been opposed by some real estate developers and non-union construction businesses.

“We support increasing safety at every construction site across New York City in a practical and feasible manner for both union and nonunion workers. The legislation fails to address our concerns over how tens of thousands of workers will access safety training, how they will pay for it, what steps are being taken to curb fraudulent safety cards, and why all workers are not subject to the bill’s safety training requirements,” Real Estate Board of New York president John Banks said when the bill was passed. “We welcome the opportunity to work with stakeholders to address these concerns that, if left unaddressed, will result in many fewer construction job opportunities for New Yorkers.”

The local International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), which represents union glaziers, praised the legislation.

“We applaud Speaker Viverito, Councilman Williams and the entire City Council for spearheading an effort to increase the training and safety standards on New York City jobsites,” said IUPAT District Council 9 business manager/secretary treasurer Joseph Azzopardi. “They faced immense political pressure from organizations that care more about their bottom line than the lives of construction workers. In the face of that adversity, this Council stood up for middle class families. … We look forward to continuing the fight to improve an industry filled with abuse by irresponsible employers.”

USGNN.com™ reached out to several glazing contractors in the New York metropolitan area, but most emails were not returned. One company declined to comment, noting the “sensitive nature” of the topic and the “continuing discussions with the unions and owners.”

According to the text of the law, Int. No. 1447, the city will develop an “SST task force” consisting of 14 members, including union construction representatives, non-union construction representatives, minority-owned or women owned construction business members and day laborers. The task force will provide recommendations for SST card requirements and advise on topics such as fall protection, personal protection equipment, machinery and material handling, machinery safety and more.

This article is from USGNN™, the daily e-newsletter that covers the latest glass industry news. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to USGlass magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge Sign up today.

This entry was posted in Featured News, Today's News and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.