OVER 100,000 CONSTRUCTION SITE SAFETY TRAINING CARDS ISSUED IN NYC
Worker Safety Milestone Reached, Final SST Deadline Approaching on March 1, 2021
NEW YORK, NY – The Department of Buildings announced today that our approved training providers across the metro area have now issued over 100,000 Site Safety Training (SST) cards to construction workers and DOB-licensed site safety professionals working in New York City. This milestone comes with just four months remaining until the final SST training deadline for construction workers to obtain 40 hours of safety training, needed to work on any of New York City’s over 5,400 larger and more complex work sites across the city. Part of landmark legislation Local Law 196 of 2017, this first-of-its-kind safety training program required the workers on larger construction sites in New York City to take OSHA and DOB approved safety courses, which has in turn contributed to an over 20% decrease in work site injuries in New York City last year, the first decrease in injuries in almost ten years.
"This is a critical milestone in creating a culture of safety to keep workers safe in the construction industry,” said Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca. "Our commitment to creating safe worksites will continue until each and every one who steps foot on a construction site in the morning knows they will return to their families safely that evening. With the final SST deadline fast approaching, I encourage every worker to get their training as soon as possible."
Currently, construction and demolition workers at all SST construction sites across the city are required to have 30 hours of safety training, and DOB-licensed site safety professionals at those sites are required to have 62 hours of safety training. The final compliance deadline for construction workers on SST work sites to obtain at least 40 hours of required safety training, and their full SST Card, is March 1, 2021. DOB hasnearly 100 approved course providers that offer site safety training in multiple languages throughout the New York City metro area. About half of these training providers offer SST courses online in a format that complies with Local Law 196. Our online course provider map shows the location of each of these providers, and is sortable by course, language offering, and online training availability. In an effort to make this training more accessible, applications are also open for the Construction Site Safety Reimbursement Program, a one-time grant through the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) for small construction firms, with 1-15 employees, to offset the cost of site safety training.
Since the passage of Local Law 196 of 2017, DOB has been conducting proactive visits at construction sites across the City, informing workers and employers of this safety training requirement, while keeping the industry informed of upcoming deadlines, and ways to obtain the training. Additional outreach and education efforts have included online worker safety sessions, in-person information sessions for stakeholders in the construction industry, multilingual press interviews with the media, multilingual advertisements in dozens of community newspapers, a system-wide subway ad campaign, direct worker outreach at work sites by DOB construction inspectors and staff from the Department’s Community Engagement Unit, a food truck tour of construction sites citywide, a detailed webpage dedicated to information on Local Law 196 site safety training, a television broadcast PSA campaign, and direct mailings to all DOB-licensed safety professionals and permit holders whose work requires Local Law 196 trained workers.
“SBS remains committed to equity of opportunity and I am excited to continue to help our small construction businesses, a key component of NYC’s economy,” said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. "Our Construction Site Safety Reimbursement Program will allow small construction firms to provide necessary training to their workers. Site Safety training is also available to laborers who need it most, providing them with resources in multiple languages and helping them to stay competitive during these challenging economic times."
Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. said, “More than one hundred thousand Site Safety Training Cards means safer workers, safer construction sites, and a safer New York. I congratulate all those working to make the vision of increased safety that Local Law 196 outlines a reality. Educators, staff, administrators, workers, and more all had to take up the challenges presented of delivering training, and then continuing to deliver training through the pandemic. Collective, positive engagement led to this important milestone. Safety represents a truly magnificent legacy for all those whose sacrifice and advocacy led us to today.”
"One of the only way New York City can successfully reduce the number of injuries and deaths on construction sites is by educating construction workers and having them follow strict safety protocols at all times, "said Council Member Ben Kallos. "By achieving 100,000 safety training cards ahead of time demonstrates that the City is taking safety seriously and working to prevent construction site accidents. I am a proud co-sponsor of Local Law 196-2017 and seeing it followed in order to protect workers is what I want to see. Thank you to the Department of Buildings for making this a priority and making sure it is implemented."
Council Member Peter Koo said, "Safety training is essential for the construction industry, and I’m pleased the DOB was able to provide guidance to over 100,000 workers and licensed professionals. The more training we can offer to our workforce, the more job skills we can enhance, and the safer our city becomes.
Council Member Robert Holden said, “This is an important step on the way to making the City’s work sites safer and I commend the work that has been done by the DOB and these providers, especially during this pandemic, to make these valuable courses more widely available. Our construction workers are critical to our City’s recovery.”
"I want to commend the Department of Buildings for this incredible milestone," said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. "Site safety training is the first step in ensuring the safety of workers and staff on our construction sites and hopefully will serve as a template for other cities. I look forward to working with the DOB staff in ensuring New Yorkers are aware of this life saving program."
“Most accidents at construction sites are entirely preventable, and that’s why this component of Local Law 196 of 2017 was so essential as we undertake responsible, safe development in New York City,” said Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Assembly’s Housing Committee. “The commitment that the city has made to safety training at construction sites is commendable, effectively reducing accidents and injuries and making construction sites safer for construction workers and members of the public.”
“The safety of our construction workforce is paramount and requires collaboration and cooperation from all sectors of the industry and our partners in government. Building Congress members strive to provide the highest level of safety on their sites, and we commend Commissioner La Rocca, her team and the building industry for achieving this milestone,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO, New York Building Congress
“REBNY members are committed to prioritizing construction safety and will continue to work closely with the City and other stakeholders to keep workers and employers informed about the need to secure SST training in a timely manner,” said James Whelan, President of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). “We welcome DOB’s continued focus on safety as the development and construction industries continue to play a crucial role in New York City’s economy.”
“Every construction site in New York City should be as safe as possible for the hardworking men and women in our industry,” said Jolie Milstein, president and CEO of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing. “We applaud the Department of Buildings for mobilizing its resources to get this program off the ground despite a challenging environment and for continuing to prioritize high-quality site safety training for every worker.”
"The partnership between contractors, workers and the Department to increase workplace safety is a model for the construction industry nationwide. Having more than one hundred thousand professionals getting increased safety training will go a long way towards ensuring that everyone goes home to their families each night," said Louis J. Coletti, President and CEO, Building Trades Employers Association.
“Construction is a dangerous industry, which makes it critical that we do everything possible to prioritize the safety of the men and women working on construction sites across the five boroughs”, said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “That starts with providing workers the highest safety standards and proper training they deserve. The Construction Safety Compliance Unit and the enhanced training and site safety awareness created by Local Law 196 have been instrumental in keeping construction workers safe. We’re encouraged and pleased to hear that over 100,000 Site Safety Training (SST) Cards have been issued to construction workers and site safety professionals, and we look forward to continuing to support DOB’s efforts to ensure the safety of workers continues to be the utmost priority at all New York City construction sites.”
"The GCA would like to thank its members and union partners for contributing to this milestone achievement that confirms our joint commitment to safety in the workplace”, said Robert Wessels, Executive Director of the General Contractors Association.
“We’re pleased to be one of the approved providers working with the Department of Buildings toward a mutual goal of ensuring every construction workers is trained in all aspects of safety”, said Brian Sampson, President of Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State Chapter. Today’s announcement of 100,000 SST cards being issued to workers is a tremendous accomplishment. But we must to continue to work toward ensuring every worker has the required training to build and work safely. It continues to be our mission to work toward a construction community where there are no workplace injuries and everyone returns home the same way they left.”
“Safety is of paramount importance to AGC NYS members. Responsible contractors take the time to do the job right—making sure their employees and personnel have the right training and equipment to work safely. This benchmark signifies our industry’s investment in and commitment to safety. We commend NYC DOB for their strong partnership with the industry that made this achievement possible,” said Mike Elmendorf, President & CEO of the Associated General Contractors of New York State (AGC NYS).
“The BIANYC applauds the Department and Commissioner La Rocca for its continued efforts on behalf of workers’ safety”, said Jessica Fortino, Executive Officer of the Building Industry Alliance of New York City. “Proper training is vital for workers, managers and the general public to ensure construction sites remain safe and hazard free.”
“We applaud the actions that DOB has taken to make our industry a safer place work in,” said George Poulon, President of the Queens Bronx Building Association. “In these trying times that we are facing, DOB has continued to pursue the effort to make sure that every worker goes home safe, free of injury and disease. Having accomplished the amazing task of issuing 100,00 SST worker cards more than 4 months ahead of the impending deadline is a testament to the Department’s commitment to safety. The direct result of a 20% decrease in job site injuries is proof that the actions that the Department has taken truly work. We are proud to be partners with DOB in our great city.”
“NYCOSH is proud to work the Department of Buildings to train construction workers to stay safe on the job,” said Charlene Obernauer, Executive Director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health Inc. “We recognize the importance of training immigrant construction workers who may not otherwise have access to training and are working diligently to provide these resources to the community.”
“The Construction Safety Advisory Committee of NY applauds Commissioner LaRocca and DOB for achieving this historic milestone,” said James Bifulco, President, CSACNY. “Our mission is to promote safety on and around all job sites. To achieve this goal, we have trained thousands of workers and provided them with SST training cards upon completion of their courses. Proper training is vital to keep workers safe and ensure they make it home to their loved ones at the end of each day. We’re proud to have worked with DOB and the City Council on Local Law 196, and look forward to continuing to find new ways to protect workers and the public.”
As always, please feel free to stay in touch if you have any questions or require additional information.
Strategic Policy and Industry Relations
Industry Engagement Advisor
Department of Buildings
City of New York