To reduce construction accident injuries and deaths in New York City, Local Law 196 was signed in 2017. The law requires that hard hats working on most New York City construction sites obtain a SST card in a specific deadline. To obtain this card, construction workers must complete at least 40 hours of OSHA or DOB approved safety training while their supervisors are required to complete at least 62 hours of safety training. Because of the Covid-19 situation, the deadline to obtain the SSD card was extended to March 2021.
The NYC Department of Buildings announced that as of today 100,000 nyc construction workers completed their training and obtained their SSD card
The DOT believes that the safety training led to a reduction of more than 20% of work site injuries in New York City last year. The DOB also announced that construction companies with more than 15 employees can now file an application to receive a one-time grant to help reduce the cost related to training.
In addition to making safety training mandatory for construction workers, the DOT conducted more than 20,000 surprise inspections to inform workers about the new safety training requirements and at the same time address unsafe working conditions. 38 DOT inspectors visited a quarter of all New York City construction sites between September 2018 and November 2019. The inspectors issued more than 2,500 stop work orders and more than 11,000 violations. The fines related to these violations amounted to a total of $15 million.
The implementation of Local Law 196 and the surprise inspections were both part of an effort by the city to curb a significant rise of construction accident injuries related to the recent building boom.
Both initiatives resulted in a decrease of 26% of the number of construction accident injuries during the first 9 months of 2019 compared to the same period of 2018. Injuries continued to decline in 2020 but it is difficult to compare numbers as many construction sites were closed during the covid-19 lockdown.
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