Deadline For 30-Hour Construction Worker Training Now Past


After a delay, the final deadline for City construction workers to maintain 30 hours of safety training has passed on December 1.

The requirement is part of Local Law 196, a bill establishing more extensive training requirements for construction workers that the Council passed in 2017. 

The original deadline as laid out in Local Law 196 was June 1 2019, but the Council voted to extend it by six months back in May.

The law comes as city data shows construction work site deaths are up 33 percent compared to five years ago, and worksite injuries are up a staggering 221 percent in that same span, according to CBSLocal.

“They’ve pushed the deadline back a couple of times, because I think the concern was not enough people had the OSHA 30 credentials. There wasn’t enough time to get people trained up,” said David Meade, Executive Director of Building Skills NY, not-for-profit providing training for construction workers. “A couple of months ago, we found that a lot of people didn’t have the OSHA 30 credential. As we’ve gotten close to the deadline, there are a lot more people that now have it, that are finding their way to us.”

Part of the City’s effort to alert people of the December 1 deadline included “Days of Action” outreach events, multilingual advertisements in local media, 1,000 subway and bus ads system-wide and video ads such as this one:

This isn’t the first or the final deadline as part of Local Law 196. On March 1, 2018, the law required workers to have completed an additional 10 hours of safety training and on September 1, 2019, workers will need a total of 40. 

“Through September 2019, the department has found that 97% of job sites visited are in compliance with Local Law 196,” said Department of Buildings (DOB) Spokesperson Andrew Rudansky. “This is the latest phase of the Department’s ongoing initiative to inform workers, contractors, developers, and property owners of Local Law 196, which, when fully implemented in September 1, 2020, will require workers on major construction sites in New York City to have 40 hours of site safety training.”

“For the purposes of December 1, 2019 training deadline, an OSHA 30 card will serve as acceptable proof that a worker has received the required training,” he added. 

Small construction firms with fewer than 15 employees are eligible to apply for a grant through the City’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to offset the costs of providing the training their employees. The costs of courses, which can be taken in-person or in a proctored online environment, can often be in the hundreds for employees who have to seek them out from commercial providers. 

“It can be anywhere from $400 to $600, for an OSHA 30. It’s been prohibitive for a lot of our workers to have to go out and find the funding to be able to pay for that,” said Meade. ”Wherever possible, either through Building Skills or through our community-based organizations, we’re always looking to see if we can find open slots there that are subsidized.”

Jumaane Williams
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Local Law 196 passed back in 2017 with over 45 co-sponsors and without a single no-vote. “Now that the content of the program is in place, we must ensure that this training is available to all workers, in all communities, regardless of affiliation,” said now-Public Advocate and prime-sponsor of the law Jumaane Williams in May.

“These are very dangerous jobs, so it’s great people are getting more safety training before they’re getting onto a site,” said Meade. “Those folks who got OSHA 30 through us, we’re now retargeting them to get the remaining 10 hours so they can ultimately get this Site Safety Training Card. And that’s going to be a big focus for us heading into 2020 to make sure as many folks as possible are going to have the appropriate credentials so they can get onto a work site.”

To find more details on how to meet Local Law 196’s requirements and where to find approved course providers, workers can visit the DOB’s website.