Deadline Arrives for Day Laborers to Get Safety Training

Day Laborers must take safety course OSHA 10 or their employers will be fined. (Photo by Javier Castaño via Queens Latino)

This Thursday, March 1, will change the lives for construction workers in New York City. From that day on, employers or construction companies will start getting fines if they hire workers that have not passed a safety training course by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The city will inspect construction sites and if they find workers that have not received training, owners and developers can be fined up to $5,000 per worker.

“After March 1, all construction workers will have to prove that they received the 10 hours of safety training required by law,” said Joseph Soldevere, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB).

This course has a cost of around $80 or it can also be free of charge. It can be taken in person or online, but with an authorized supervisor, regardless of the worker’s legal status. At the end of the training the worker will receive a document that shows completion of the training and the ability to work as a construction worker in New York City.

The worker must make sure that the OSHA classes are given by an authorized organization. (…)

“Those courses are really good because they teach construction workers about their rights, safety and work equipment,” said Rolando Bini, executive director of [training center] Padres en Acción – Parents in Action (95-51 Roosevelt Ave. 2nd floor). “When it comes to health and lives, you don’t negotiate.” The OSHA 10 course in this organization costs $100, with group discounts.

“Workers, including day laborers looking for a job on street corners, will be able to receive construction training classes and thus prevent accidents and get to know their rights,” said José Bayona, director of the Mayor’s Office of Community & Ethnic Media. “With this course, both workers and employers will benefit.”

The city is undergoing a construction boom and the number of accidents is also rising. According to the DOB, there were 597 injuries and 12 deaths in 2016. Last year there were the same number of deaths but 665 injuries.

The construction surge is reflected in the 170,000 construction permits the DOB issued last year. At the moment there are 45,000 construction sites, whether they are houses or buildings.

Construction worker Rodrigo Calle said that he took the OSHA training and will continue to do so. “Security comes first,” he said.

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