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Case Study: Odin helps NYC jobsites get ahead of DOB changes

Odin does more than just store documents. Learn how Odin worked closely with our clients to make sure the 2023 SST Cutover went smoothly.

Reducing Risk
Odin Point of View

At Odin, our primary goal is to make construction sites safer for our customers. One key way we accomplish this is by automating compliance, ensuring that every worker on a jobsite has the proper credentials as defined by federal, state, and local regulations. In the spring of 2022, the New York City Department of Buildings announced that, beginning February 1, 2023, workers would be required to have an “NYC DOB Training Connect SST Card” on any jobsite where a DOB-licensed safety professional was required, which includes almost all large-scale construction projects in the city. This change was made to standardize the card format used across NYC jobsites and reduce the likelihood of fraudulent cards.

The DOB also stated that they could issue a civil violation as high as $5,000 per untrained worker to the owner of the site, the permit holder, and the employer of the untrained worker. With some jobsites expecting hundreds of workers a day, it was critical that only qualified workers were allowed to enter starting February 1. 

Avoiding these costly fines would clearly be a top priority of our customers’ on-site safety teams. While the Odin platform is configured to automatically reject invalid credentials, we knew that simply disabling hundreds or thousands of workers on the day of the cutover would end up creating more problems than it solved. To make sure the transition went smoothly, we reached out to our active jobsites two months prior to the cutover to formulate a plan – both to make sure our clients understood the scale of the impact, and to ensure that jobsite access would be properly enforced starting on February 1.

Who will be affected?

Knowing the number of workers who would be affected by the change would help our clients understand the potential impact to their work schedule as a result of the change, Site safety teams also needed to know which individual workers would be affected, so they could proactively reach out and facilitate getting new cards as quickly as possible.. 

Thankfully, Odin’s Digital Onboarding process stores all worker credentials online in our centralized, searchable database. To prepare for this regulatory change, we first added a new parameter to SST documents that would indicate whether each card was in the correct “Training Connect” format. We then retroactively scanned the more than 25,000 SST cards stored in our system to backfill each card’s status. We also made this indicator available to our customers as part of the site safety orientation process, so they could correctly mark new cards going forward.

Digital onboarding makes customized document management easy

Once this work was complete, we had a solid understanding of who would be affected by the cutover. Now it was time to arm the onsite teams with the information they needed to get ahead of the deluge of workers who would need to provide updated cards.

For the next 8 weeks, Odin sent weekly reports to each jobsite with a list of workers in our system who did not have a valid card. These reports included each worker’s contact information, as well as their subcontractor, so each onsite team could reach out to the affected workers and ask them to provide their new cards in the “Training Connect” format. 

Each week, the number of workers on the non-compliant lists steadily dropped, as the on-site teams’ outreach efforts started to pay off. Because of the professionalism and diligence of our customers’ site safety teams, by February 1, some sites were looking at fewer than 10% of their workers who hadn’t been updated.

Cutover Day, Take 1

Starting at midnight on February 1, any worker without an SST card explicitly marked as an “NYC DOB Training Connect SST card” would be automatically blocked from entering the site when swiping their badge or attempting to check in using their mobile device. 

We also alerted onsite team members when a worker using an outdated card tried to access the jobsite, so they could quickly identify the worker, pull them aside to a designated location, and gather their updated documentation to regain access.

The jobsite assignment of a worker with an invalid SST Card

Then, surprise! At the same time as everyone else in NYC, we received the news that the DOB was pushing back the enforcement deadline to March 18. Thankfully, the work we’d done to prepare meant that Odin customers were in a great position to respond to the unexpected change of plans. After a quick huddle with each jobsite, we learned that some wanted to continue to enforce the change while others wanted to reverse the prohibition of workers without Training Connect cards. 

Because Odin is fully customizable by jobsite, we were able to quickly reverse the enforcement within 30 minutes on some sites, allowing those teams to avoid a reduced workforce without affecting the sites who chose the other route. We’re now in close contact with our customers to make sure the next (and, hopefully, final!) SST cutover on March 18, 2023 goes as smoothly as the first.  

Learn more about how Odin can help your onsite team with future DOB changes.

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