Falls from ladders and scaffolding are far too common in the construction industry and can lead to serious injuries. Under New York law, scaffolding accidents are treated differently than other construction accidents. Owners, contractors, and agencies have an obligation to provide the safety equipment necessary to protect workers from falls.
Labor Law 240: The Scaffolding Law
New York’s Labor Law 240, also known as the Scaffolding Law, protects workers who are injured in falls from heights or being struck by an object that fell from a height. Serious injuries can result in falls from a height or being struck by an object, and therefore workers deserve extra consideration. Workers rely on owners, contractors, and agencies to provide a safe working environment and to take steps to prevent scaffolding accidents. Under Labor Law 240, owners, contractors, and agents have a duty to make sure ladders, scaffolds, pulleys, and other gravity-related construction instruments are safe. This duty is nondelegable and absolute.
If an owner, contractor, or agent violates this law, they may be liable for any injuries that result. Workers are protected even if they are not an employee of the owner, contractor, or agent. In order to be protected by the Scaffolding Law, the worker must have been working on a building or structure at the time of the accident and must be performing work that is not just routine maintenance. In order to recover under the law, the worker must establish that the owner, contractor, or agent failed to provide proper safety equipment or failed to follow an established safety standard. Because liability under the Scaffolding Law is absolute, the owner, contractor, or agent can’t blame the worker for their own injury.
There are some exceptions to the Scaffolding Law. The owners of one or two-family homes are not liable under the law if they do not direct or control the working being performed. In addition, the law only applies to workers and not bystanders or passersby.
Contact a New York Construction Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, you should have your case evaluated by an experienced construction accident attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we’ve been helping injured construction workers for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.