Day of Action for immigration workers on safety training

The de Blasio administration on Monday announced a Day of Action for Nov. 7 to inform day laborers, including immigrant workers, in the construction industry about the upcoming Dec. 1 deadline for workers and supervisors to obtain site safety training as required under Local Law 196 of 2017.

According to Jose Bayona, director of Community & Ethnic Media, New York City Mayor’s Office, the Day of Action will direct city agencies, in partnership with day laborer organizations, to conduct outreach to day laborers, including immigrant workers.

“In an effort to holistically engage workers, outreach will be conducted on worker pick-up and drop-off locations in all five boroughs at various locations,” Bayona said.

Buildings Commissioner, Melanie E. La Rocca said “every worker who leaves for the job site in the morning deserves to come home safely at night, which is why safety training is so important.

“This citywide campaign is designed to raise awareness among hard-to-reach populations, such as the city’s day laborers, of the upcoming deadline for workers to have 30 hours of training,” she said. “We are proud to partner with our colleagues in the Mayor’s Office, our fellow city agencies, and day laborer organizations on this day of action.”

Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, said this Day of Action will engage day laborers, including immigrant workers, on the new training requirements “that will keep New York City worksites safer for all.

“Immigrant workers are an integral part of our workforce and economy, and we look forward to working with community organizations to ensure they know how and where they obtain this critical safety training,” Mostofi said.

Bayona said the administration is partnering with community organizations across the city, such as Workers Justice Project, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New York, New Immigrant Community Empowerment, and La Colmena.

Starting Dec. 1, Bayona said workers at major construction sites will be required to have at least 30 hours of site-safety training, and supervisors must have at least 62 hours of training.

To meet the upcoming training requirements, Bayona said workers and supervisors can obtain safety training from any Department of Buildings (DOB)-approved course provider, or by taking OSHA-10 or OSHA-30 classes from an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certified training provider.

In an effort to make this training more accessible, he said applications are still open for the Construction Site Safety Reimbursement Program, a one-time grant through the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) for small construction firms, with 1-15 employees, to offset the cost of site safety training.

“On this Day of Action, we will come together, city agencies and day laborer centers, to ensure workers know of their rights and how to meet the new Site Safety training regulations,” said Manuel Castro, executive director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE).

“Making sure our communities have the right information is one of the most critical steps we can take,” he added. “Too often, immigrant workers fall prey to unscrupulous actors and exploitative employers looking to take advantage of them, and so we must do everything in our power to ensure our communities are protected and informed.”

Bayona said this Day of Action is the latest phase of the administration’s outreach and education efforts to inform workers, contractors, developers, and property owners of LL 196, requiring workers on major construction sites in New York City to have 40 hours of site safety training.

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