LOCAL LAW 196 VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES EXPLAINED
Local Law 196 of 2017, which mandates NYC workers at permitted construction sites to have safety training, has entered its second phase.
In an unprecedented move, NYC Department of Buildings recently sent letters to all contractors, job site owners, permit holders and some licensees, reminding them to comply with the requirements of the new law.
By now, all concerned parties should be aware of their responsibility to keep up with the requirements and the liabilities for failure to comply. Civil penalties and hefty fines will be imposed in addition to non-issuance or automatic denial of construction/demolition permits for failure to comply.
View the full Local Law 196 here.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I CAN’T COMPLY?
During permit applications, contractors and job site owners will be asked to certify that their workers have the requisite trainings. The Department will conduct unannounced inspections to verify these. The Construction Safety Compliance Unit performs proactive periodic inspections on all active sites, performing plan examiniation of site safety plans, training documentation, scaffold inspections, and interior/full demolition inspections.
Once audited and the Department finds failure of compliance, the job owners, permit holders and employers of untrained workers will be held liable.
They will be charged penalties as high as $5000 for every untrained worker that can only be mitigated if the employer sponsors the training. Apart from the fines, permits for construction or demolition work will not be issued nor renewed.
Similarly, those who have failed to maintain a training record log will be issued a notice of violation and a civil penalty of at least $2500. Non-compliance to recordkeeping will establish also rebuttable presumption that all workers have not complied with the training requirements. In effect, the site and permit owner will be issued another notice of violation for non-compliance to the required safety training hours of their workers.
Despite the strict enforcement and hefty fines from the Department, they have provided a method to correct them.
For violations on site safety training requirements, they can only be corrected once the owner, permit holder or employer enters into an agreement to satisfy the SST requirements at no cost to the untrained workers. The workers will remain employed until all trainings are completed; work for such worker on the site concludes; or 60 days elapses after the notice of violation. They will be paid for a 40-hour work week at the same hourly wage even while on training. (Sec 28-184.108.40.206)
A second or subsequent violation will, in effect, subject the building site of at least one unannounced inspection every three months to determine compliance. These inspections will also be imposed on each building site they own, each building site the permit holder works and each building site where such violator works until at least two consecutive inspections do not result to a violation (Sec 28-220.127.116.11)
A new form has also been created to certify the correction for summonses issued for failing to comply with site safety training requirements. Effective november 13, 2018, the new AEU3321 form must be used to certify the correction of summonses issued for failing to comply with safety training requirements mandated by the new york city building code Section 3321.1 and/or Section 3321.2
For more information on correcting violations please view the NYC Department of Buildings Service Notice here.
OVERVIEW OF LOCAL LAW 196
The law, enacted in October 2017, was in response to the increasing construction-related injuries and fatalities in New York City. In fact, in September 2017, the year-to-date (YTD) data for all injuries and fatalities count has surpassed the previous year; accidents and injuries count is 8% and 12% higher than the previous year respectively. Falls, on the other hand, is the top cause for construction-related fatalities.
The NYC Council passed the new law to revise the previous Administrative Code to include requiring proof that workers in construction sites have accomplished the minimum levels of safety training and that logs of such completed trainings be recorded.
IMPACT ON OPERATIONS
To note, LL196 has put in place a gradual compliance plan for the site safety training. It is phased-in in three parts beginning on March 1, 2018 and with full training being required before September 1, 2020.
The first phase, which recently passed, required all workers have an OSHA 10 Hour Class, an OSHA 30-Hour Class or a 100-Hour Training Program approved by the Department of Buildings. Supervisors are required to at least have the OSHA-30 Hour Construction Card.
SITE SAFETY TRAINING CARD
By now, the second phase has commenced and will now require workers to have at least a Limited Site Safety Training Card. This means that they must complete the OSHA 10 Course and an additional 20 hours of training related to safeguarding against the dangers posed by falling workers and objects.
They can also opt to take the OSHA 30 Training Course which covers record keeping, hazard communication, fall protection, excavations, hand and power tools, personal protective equipment and health hazards in construction etc. or a 100-hour training program (such as training received through an apprenticeship) approved by the Department.
Meanwhile, supervisors (including site safety managers, site safety coordinators, concrete safety managers, construction superintendents and other competent persons) are obliged to complete the site safety training to obtain the SST Supervisor Card.
New entrants to the construction or demolition workforce may begin working if they acquire a Temporary Site Safety Training Card (a non-renewable card that expires after 6 months) by completing an OSHA 10-hour class.
Once the third phase begins, all construction and demolition workers must have Site Safety Training Cards (SST Cards) that can be obtained upon completion of the full 40-55 hours of safety training while supervisors must receive between 60-75 hours of safety training.
To purchase an SST card please visit safetycardtracker.com for more information
Able Safety Consulting is a group of highly trained and experienced safety professionals who can provide high quality training and comprehensive workplace evaluations for the construction industry. We are dedicated to help industry stakeholders reduce injuries and fatalities while ensuring compliance to global and local industry standards.
For more information on the training courses we provide, please feel free to contact us at our toll-free number 888-926-4727.