Knowledgeable NYC construction lawyers are often asked by clients, “What is Scaffold Law?”. In 1885, the New York State Legislature passed Labor Law §240. This law, commonly known as the “Scaffold Law”, is unique to New York. It ensures that construction workers in New York have a greater protection under the law than construction workers in any other state.
NYC construction lawyers know that the law states that construction site owners and their agents (in essence, general contractors and other contractors) must protect workers from height-related injuries by providing proper safety equipment.
Protecting Against Height-Related Hazards
This law governs accidents involving heights. This including falls from ladders, scaffolds, sidewalk bridges, or some other raised platform. It also covers injuries caused by objects falling onto workers. The law states that construction site owners and their agents (in essence, general contractors and other contractors) must protect workers from height-related injuries by providing proper safety equipment. These owners and contractors should provide appropriate safety measures and guards to all workers. These include safety harnesses, lanyards, barricades, fencing, netting, and safety railings.
The unfortunate reality is that even with the protections that this law puts in place, oftentimes, owners, general contractors, and subcontractors, fail to provide construction workers with safety devices that would prevent these height-related injuries.
New York Courts decided that liability under Labor Law § 240 is “absolute”. This means that owners or contractors not actually involved in construction are liable regardless of whether they exercise supervision or control over the work. No other state has such protection. NYC construction lawyers take advantage of this law. In all other states, injured workers must prove the negligence of owners and general contractors. They must also prove that their negligence directly caused the accident. In essence, the owner or the general contractor needs active involvement in the construction work. They must also exercise supervision over the work a worker was doing when he or she sustained an injury.
NYC Construction Lawyers Must Get Results
This does not mean that simply because a worker was involved in a construction site accident, that they will be entitled to an award. Liability on the part of the owners and their agents is contingent on proving a violation of Labor Law §240. In addition NYC construction lawyers must prove that said violation was a proximate cause of the worker’s accident.
While the protections of Labor Law §240 are powerful, the statute and the legal system are difficult to navigate. For these reasons, workers involved in construction site accidents must contact experienced construction accident attorneys as soon as possible. The personal injury attorneys at The Platta Law Firm, PLLC, have years of experience litigating Labor Law §240 claims throughout New York. If you need a NYC construction lawyer, contact The Platta Law Firm, PLLC today.