Demystifying NYC’s Local Law 196: Transforming Construction Safety

July 20, 2022
5 min
Demystifying NYC’s Local Law 196: Transforming Construction Safety

Workforce safety will always be one of the most important aspects of construction, and over the years, state and federal governments are becoming more involved to support this goal. On April 28, 1971, OSHA was established.

OSHA’s mission is “With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” 

OSHA’s proven track record and influence toward safety spread between states and now work hand-in-hand to tackle workforce safety, successfully. As construction projects continue to flow, builders and owners continue to search for ways to simplify the safety and training process. 

Construction incidents & the “fatal four”

Due to the support of OSHA and other state-wide laws, the number of construction incidents occurring has substantially decreased over time. Unfortunately, there are still many incidents occurring, and there are four main types of incidents that are, well known within the construction community, better known as “OSHA’s fatal-four.”

  • Falls
  • Struck by an object
  • Electrocution
  • Caught in-or-between objects

"fatal four"

Understanding Local Law 196

In response to the rising number of construction injuries over time, New York’s Department of Building (DOB) established Local Law 196 which was signed by Mayor de Blasio in 2017. Local Law 196 of 2017 requires workers at jobsites requiring a construction superintendent, site safety coordinator, or site safety manager to have a total of 40 hours of safety training and proof of completion.

Workers and supervisors can also obtain safety training from any DOB-approved course provider or by taking OSHA-30 classes. The DOB provides a mailing to all contractors, owners, and permit-holders licenses to comply with the new law.

Local Law 196 has taken effect within 3 stages.

  • Stage 1: March 1, 2018, workers are required to complete 10 hours of OSHA construction safety training and obtain their SST card of completion.
  • Stage 2: December 1, 2019, workers must have at least a minimum 30 hours of training and Supervisors need to increase their safety training to 62 hours.
  • Stage3: September 1, 2020, workers on construction site need to increase safety training to 40 hours.

Once the SST card is obtained, the safety train is moving in the right direction. The SST card is a validation just like a driver's license in the presence of a safety requirement or training. The card displays all safety training information that is up-to-date allowing for easy verification and job approval. 

Current OSHA training required by state

OSHA training is currently required by law in Nevada, Florida, Missouri, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. As time continues, many states are adopting this approach to support workforce safety.

Current OSHA training required states

Five additional states and one U.S. territory (Virgin Islands) have OSHA-approved State Plans that cover state and local government workers only.

  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Virgin Islands

Site Safety Training (SST) Resource:

SST cards are very important in construction. Workers now need 40 hours of DOB-approved site training. SST cards expire after 5 years and workers will need to renew their cards after five years with additional training.

In one year, after submission for renewal, workers and supervisors must complete the below training, as specified by the Department of Buildings (DOB). If you're curious if your worker or employee needs SST training, follow the NYC SST FAQ page.

Worker SST cards (8 hours):

  • 4-Hour fall prevention
  • 4-Hour supported scaffold user

Supervisor SST card (16 hours):

  • 8 Hours fall prevention
  • 4 Hours support scaffold
  • 2 Hours tool box talks
  • 2 Hours pre-task safety meetings

Who eeed Site Safety Training:

  • Construction workers
  • Demolition workers
  • Concrete safety managers (CSM)
  • Construction superintendents (CS)
  • Site safety managers (SSM)
  • Site safety coordinators (SSC
  • Journey persons
  • Forepersons
  • Employees of DOB licensees 

Who are exempt from Site Safety Training:

  • Building owners
  • Project managers
  • Professional engineers (PE)
  • Registered architects (RA)
  • Developers
  • Delivery persons
  • Construction managers
  • Flag persons 
  • General contractors
  • DOB licensees registrants (not CS, SSC, SSM, or CSM)
  • Concrete testing labs
  • Filing representatives
  • Security officers
  • Special inspectors
  • Service technicians
  • Consultants
  • Workers at jobsite that only include minor alterations

Training course resources:

Why LL196 is paving a safe future for construction

New York has set a higher standard for safety within construction, and successful implementation of Local Law 196 will set the bar for safety training standards across the nation.

Safety is not just huge in the United States. Countries across the globe suffer from safety incidents worse than the United States in some cases. Safety, needs to be understood at the core, and that’s through education on and off the jobsite. Through safety training, workers and employers essentially team up to stay compliant and avoid fines and other serious outcomes on a jobsite. 

Quick safety reports to review:

Optimizing your workforce database for faster safety training

Managing multiple employees from different jobsites can be very challenging if the paperwork is processed manually.

To give context, if you have over a thousand employees for a jobsite, processing that much paperwork including identification, certifications, training, and other sensitive documents can take many hours, which leads to many hours toward payroll. 

To save thousands of dollars in safety fines and align with compliance, many companies are utilizing a central database like Kwant to help optimize their workforce database across any jobsite, no matter the worker count or location.

Kwant workforce management software features:

  • Workforce ID & document centralization 
  • Certification management (recertification notifications)
  • Automated timesheets
  • Background checks
  • Productivity analytics
  • Workforce awareness
  • Safety incident recording
  • Smart safety badges (SOS alerts, fall detection, catch near-misses)

Try a free demo of our workforce management software and align with NYC's Site Safety Training requirements today.

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