The New York Department of Buildings introduced changes to Local Law 196 over two years ago but as the deadline approaches for meeting all of the requirements, conversation around the updated law continues to brew. Industry professionals are seeking understanding of the exact local law 196 requirements, and are eager to take necessary steps to ensure their projects are fully in compliance with the law. We are actively following local law 196 updates, and can assure you that staying compliant is not as complex as it seems. So what is all the fuss about?
GoContractor attended an event recently centered around discussing the changes and local law 196 training, hosted KBE NY and Total Safety. The room was filled with contractors, subcontractors, real estate developers and more– with everyone sharing their input and concerns around local law 196 updates.
The conversations in the room put the spotlight on why there is confusion and anxiety over local law 196. Simply put, industry professionals do not have a clear understanding of the law and are concerned that their projects will not be fully in compliance soon enough to meet the local law 196 deadline. Everyone is struggling to identify an efficient way to ensure all of their workers are fully trained and in compliance with local law 196 updates on time, while avoiding financial loss and cutting time put into the actual project.
How to avoid local law 196 fines:
We can assume the main concern for all real estate and construction professionals is to ensure the safety of their workers and the smooth continuation of their project.
To avoid any threat to the safety of your workers or a fine issued for failure to meet DOB local law 196 requirements, here’s a simple list of what all workers on any (DOB licensed) construction site need to have by December 1st of 2019:
- To be safe, you want all of your workers to have a DOB issued SST card. The type of SST card depends on their role on the construction site.
- For a Limited SST card, workers must complete a 30 hour OSHA Training course or-
- For a Limited SST card, workers can also complete a 10 hour OSHA training course, plus 20 additional hours of training.
- For a SUPERVISOR SST card (issued to any worker serving as a Site Safety Manager, Site Safety Coordinator, Construction Superintendent, Concrete Safety Managers, any competent person on-site), workers must complete a 30 hour OSHA training course, plus 32 additional hours of training, 62 hours in total.
Unlike other laws and requirements, local law 196 updates affect everyone involved on a construction project. If workers are not properly in compliance with the law, the DOB has warned the issuance of a 15K violation fine. That is 5K fined to the developer, 5K fined to the general contractor, and 5K fined to any subcontractors, a change from the previous law. GoContractor recognizes that usually, these individuals follow unique work schedules and are too busy to collaborate on one seamless style of certifying all of their workers prior to entering the job site.
How to get ahead of local law 196:
For this reason, more contractors and project managers are relying on online orientations to ensure all of their workers meet the requirements before even arriving to the site as it lessons the load of work for them, while making it easier for workers to actually comply by easily completing all requirements on a device.
Research by companies like IBM have concluded that taking courses online allows students to absorb 5 times more information than learning in the traditional classroom style, which is why an online onboarding process for all safety and compliance training is the equitable solution to certifying construction workers. Online orientation not only saves time and money, it can be way more effective for your employees. Software like ours is a simple, reliable way to easily send specific, customized courses to your workers that must be completed prior to showing up to the job. If your worker needs an SST card by December 1st, having them complete the required courses online is a simple solution for them to meet all local law 196 updates, as they are now enabled to complete hours of training in the comfort of their home at their own pace, versus wasting hours of sitting in a classroom for monotonous training.
“Training classes are being sold in bundles because nobody wants to travel to be at a place for 2 hours and go home” – Peter Simon, Total Safety
The benefit to online orientation and training is that your workers are no longer inconvenienced, and you no longer lose time reviewing each workers qualifications the day they show up for work.
With built-in identity verifying features, GoContractor allows you to review all worker qualifications in advance as well as reassurance that each person is fully compliant with safety regulations before they come to work on your project.
Law 196 updates require that workers on a construction site have an SST card, so being able to verify that all of your workers hold one that is active and authentic with GoContractor can help avoid hefty incompliance fines.
Digitalization continues to infiltrate the construction industry internationally, and automation is gradually being adapted among New York construction businesses as technology proves to help maintain safety standards and enhance operations. Converting your own processes and integrating tech benefits you and can be useful at times when you want to ensure all workers are maintaining safety and operational standards in compliance with the law.