NEW YORK, NY: Today, the City Council unanimously passed Int. 1447-C, a landmark construction safety bill sponsored by Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn), Deputy Leader and Chair of Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee, which will institute mandatory construction worker safety training standards.
Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, a prime sponsor of the bill, celebrated its passage as a critically important and long awaited step toward changing the culture of a construction industry that devalues worker safety and well-being.
“I am proud of the City Council for taking this landmark step to help ensure that the safety of workers is a priority. Requiring a uniform baseline amount of safety training is a long overdue and critically important measure to having a tangible impact on worker’s well-being,” Williams said. “This action begins to address the eroded culture of worker safety in the New York City construction industry, an erosion that has led to unsafe conditions, injuries, and death.”
The bill mandates that workers have a cumulative total of 40-55 hours of training, phased in over time. The first ten hours must be completed by March of 2018, thirty hours by December 1 of that year, and 40-55 within five months of that date. Extensions can be granted to the second and third milestone if necessary. A task force has been created to help facilitate the training and determine its content in conjunction with the Department of Buildings.
“I want to thank Speaker Mark-Viverito and my colleagues on the Council for recognizing necessity to make worker safety an immediate priority,” said Council Member Williams. “Our efforts over these months, and in passing this bill today, will have a lasting impact on the health and safety of our workers.” The bill was widely praised on the floor of City Council Chambers during its passage.