Local Law 196 of 2017 was enacted in response to the increase in fatalities on construction sites in New York City (NYC). It amended the NYC Administrative Code to require proof that persons working on construction projects in NYC have certain minimum levels of safety training. It also established a 14-member task force appointed by the Office of the Mayor and City Council Speaker to provide periodic recommendations.
NEW SAFETY TRAINING
Local Law 196 applies to the five boroughs of NYC and affects permit holders, owners, and workers. The new law includes two basic requirements: 1) site safety training requirements, and 2) training recordkeeping requirements. The site safety training requirements are to be phased in as follows, with the first of the three separate dates already having passed:
By March 1, 2018: Workers and supervisors must have completed any of the following: OSHA 10, OSHA 30, or a 100-hour training program approved by the Department of Buildings (the department) (e.g., an apprenticeship program).
By December 1, 2018: Workers must obtain at least a Limited Site Safety Training (SST) Card by completing any one of the following: i) OSHA 10, plus an additional 20 hours of training specified by the department, including 8 hours of training relating to safeguarding against the dangers posed by falling workers and objects; ii) OSHA 30; or iii) a 100-hour training program approved by the department. Supervisors, on the other hand, who are defined to include site safety managers, site safety coordinators, concrete safety managers, construction superintendents, and other competent persons, must complete site safety training to obtain the required SST Supervisor Card.
By May 1, 2019: Workers must obtain a SST Card by completing any of the following: i) OSHA 10, plus an additional 30-45 hours of training specified by the department, including 8 hours of training relating to safeguarding against dangers relating to falling workers and objects; ii) OSHA 30, plus an additional 10-25 hours of training specified by the department, including the 8 hours of training relating to dangers posed by falling workers and objects; or iii) a 100-hour training program approved by the department. Also, supervisors will have to complete site safety training to obtain the SST Supervisor Card.
The reporting requirements state that by March 1, 2018, each permit holder must maintain daily logs, including a copy of each worker’s SST card, supervisor card, limited SST card, or temporary SST card, and proof of compliance.
Failure to comply with Local Law 196 will expose the owner of the site, the permit holder, and the employer of the untrained worker to liability. Failure to comply is a basis for automatic denial of department permits. In addition, the department can impose a civil penalty of $5,000 per untrained worker to the owner of the site, permit holder, and employer of the untrained worker. Also, failure to maintain a log demonstrating that all of the workers at the site are trained creates a rebuttable presumption that each worker is not compliant. A civil penalty of $2,500 can be imposed for failing to provide or maintain a log.
Violations are not certified as corrected until the offender enters into an agreement to satisfy the site safety training. This must be paid for by the permit holder at no cost to the non-compliant worker and the worker must remain on the payroll for a 40-hour work week while on training.
Anyone performing construction work in New York City needs to be aware of Local Law 196. Based on the above, with few exceptions, all workers on construction sites already need to have completed an OSHA 10. Obtaining an OSHA 30 by December 1, 2018, is another way to remain in compliance with the staggered requirements of the law. With New York City often leading the way, going forward, expect to see other cities (and perhaps states) enact similar legislation.
About the Author:
Michael Rubin is a partner in the law firm Goldberg Segalla, where he serves as chair of the OSHA and Worksite Safety Practice Group. Michael has counseled clients across multiple industries regarding the defense and management of OSHA inspections and citations. He has on-the-ground experience conducting accident investigations and represents companies at all stages of OSHA enforcement proceedings. He frequently provides safety and risk-avoidance workshops on best practices for minimizing OSHA liability. He can be reached at 716.844.3477 or email@example.com.