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NYC construction worker safety: What does Local Law 196 say?

Workers and their families, unions, advocacy groups and many other organizations and individuals are concerned about the unacceptably dangerous conditions faced by construction workers in New York City. News outlets tell the ongoing story of dead and injured workers.

As you may know, a new city law known as Local Law 196 of 2017 is the culmination of attempts to improve construction worker safety and decrease injuries and fatalities. Here are some of the specific training requirements that come with this law, which will be enforced in large part by the Department of Buildings (DOB).

What has to be done, and when?

There was much debate about the proposed substance of Local Law 196. The safety training requirements released by the city include the following:

  • Completion of an “OSHA 10” class (a 10-hour safety course) within the previous five years for many workers by March 1, 2018.
  • Completion of additional hours of training by December 1, 2018.
  • Completion of a total of at least 40-55 total hours of DOB-approved training when the law’s provisions are completely phased in on May 1, 2019.
  • Mandatory training for some supervisors — 60+ hours of it.
  • DOB-issued civil penalties of as much as $5,000 per untrained worker, plus other penalties.
  • The option to utilize proctored online training until about October 16, after which time training classes will have to be taken in person.

How about accountability for negligent contractors and owners?

We all know proper training is important, but it’s not enough to solve the epidemic problem of construction accidents in New York City. Many experts believe the bigger issue is the lack of any meaningful accountability for greedy contractors and project owners who put profits over worker safety.

What if your family has suffered because of a construction accident?

If you and your family have personally experienced the physical, financial and emotional difficulties that can come with a serious construction injury, get legal advice right away. You may be entitled to money damages through a third-party claim, a lawsuit.

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