December 1, 2019. The Sunday following Thanksgiving. That is the deadline for compliance with Phase 2 of site safety training for Local Law 196 of 2017, requiring all construction and demolition workers at a site mandating a site safety manager to have a minimum of 30 hours of training and all supervisors to have 62 hours. On September 1, 2020, workers will need to have an additional 10 hours of training, bringing the total number of required hours to 40. The December date is just over six weeks away from the publication of this issue of SKYlines and penalties for non-compliance are steep. Is the industry prepared for the much-anticipated rush?
How are you getting the word out about the site safety training requirement?
Jake Toth, CHST, Director, Andromeda Academy of Construction Trades LLC:
“We are getting the word out about site safety training requirements in many ways: through our website, direct mail advertisements, social media, and mobile technology. We are also networking with other professionals and business owners and building partnerships with related organizations”.
Peter Amato, President, Site Safety LLC:
“We conduct free seminars, send fliers, place ads, attend networking events, etc.”.
Rebecca DeMarco, Manager, and Robert DeMarco, Program Director and Senior Instructor, Swing Staging Training & Safety LLC:
“We spread the word of this new requirement by email and we are also developing a social media presence”.
Are you being flexible to accommodate workers’ schedules?
JT: “At Andromeda Academy, we understand that accommodating needs is a trend that is building. Therefore, we offer many of our programs on evenings and weekends. Our evening classes allow students to work during the day or care for a family member. Our weekend sessions make great opportunities to network as well. Fifty percent of our students take some classes either evenings or weekends. We also offer flexible scheduling for employers to minimize their employees’ downtime”.
PA: “We perform training during working hours, evenings, and weekends. Most classes are at night”.
RD/RD: “We hold a majority of our classes evenings and weekends to accommodate the students who work during the day – roughly 80% of the student population”.
Do you anticipate a huge rush in the fall?
JT: “Andromeda Academy of Construction Trades LLC is increasing its capacity in response to expected demand during the months of October and November. We have hired additional instructors and increased classroom space to accommodate the growing number of registrants. Andromeda Academy also has space that is unique in NYC – a 3,150 square foot indoor training area of adaptable space designed to suit specific needs”.
PA: “Although we have trained thousands of construction workers, we anticipate a big rush in November, yes”.
RD/RD: “Yes, we expect a rush in early fall. We have scheduled multiple classes to accommodate and are willing to add more if there is a demand”.
Do your trainers employ any special methods to keep workers engaged?
JT: “It is imperative that we make our classes interesting and participative. There are many ways that we can break up training sessions and keep trainees attentive and involved. These include: quizzes, small group discussions, case studies, active summaries, Q&A sessions, and role playing”.
PA: “We employ the best instructors available, who possess many years of experience in construction safety and training. They are dynamic and utilize engaging training methods”.
RD/RD: “Since the majority of our courses are held evenings, our trainers have developed strategies to keep the students engaged and interested in learning the topics”.
Do you offer any financing options?
JT: “We accept several types of payment and offer group discounts, as well”.
PA: “We offer discounts to large groups, community organizations, charitable associations, and often perform free training classes to the industry”.
RD/RD: “We do not have any discounted rates, but we do offer payment plans if the customer needs it”.
Are you offering online training?
JT: “I personally prefer face-to-face training. Students tend to underestimate the virtue of meeting their instructor as well as other students in the class. Online training creates a monologue rather than a real dialogue in the learning atmosphere. That said, we do plan to conduct certain online classes in the future. Thanks to online learning platforms, a physical classroom is no longer the only place to gain an education. Online training is a huge cost saver for organizations and individuals. Utilizing the internet for improving our skills is the ultimate way to add value. To make this kind of training experience more engaging, collaborative, and interactive, we have to set up a system for trainees to ask questions and receive support. Web conferencing tools can be used to allow learners to interact with geographically dispersed colleagues. Forums, blogs, and social media platforms are also ideal for online group discussions”.
PA: “We do offer some courses online, but do not support this path for students. We believe that there is no better instruction than hands-on, in-person training”.
RD/RD: “We do not offer online training at this time. We believe training in person is the best way for the students to take the course. We have materials here that they can see, touch and feel – this way, when they are out in the field they will remember what they learned here”.
Have you developed a system to issue DOB-approved SST cards as well as a record-keeping system?
JT: “Yes, we have been among the first course providers that developed a card format and record-keeping system that complies with DOB’s requirements and recommendations”.
PA: “Yes, absolutely. We are a DOB and IACET approved training institute. We pride ourselves on our integrity and consistently adhere to all of the requirements”.
RD/RD: “Yes, we have developed a system to ensure compliance with the DOB recommendations”.
A searchable map of all DOB-approved course providers and worker information centers citywide can be found here.