Labor Laws and Construction Accidents in New York

New York Labor Laws and Construction Accidents

The general rule in New York is that individuals who are injured at work must make a workers’ compensation claim rather than filing a personal injury lawsuit. While this rule applies in some construction injury cases, there are certain exceptions if important provisions of the New York Labor Code are violated.

Because it may be possible for you to recover broader compensation than the benefits provided to you under workers’ compensation, it is very important that you consult with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer who concentrates on construction accidents. At David Resnick & Associates, P.C., our New York City construction accident lawyers have extensive knowledge of New York law, and we can help you explore all options for maximizing your compensation. We can explain your legal rights and whether any labor code provisions apply that could allow you to obtain greater compensation for your work injury.

The construction accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., are skilled at evaluating New York City slip-and-fall construction accident claims. We can help you determine whether the negligence of a third party caused or contributed to your injuries. Call our firm today at 212-279-2000 or use our online contact form for a free evaluation of your case.

We serve construction accident victims in all of New York City, including Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Long Island.

New York Labor Laws and Your Legal Rights

There are three key provisions found in New York’s labor laws that allow construction workers to file a lawsuit against general contractors, commercial owners and others who are liable for construction site injuries. These provisions include Labor Code Section 200, Section 240 and Section 241.

New York Labor Code Section 200

Labor Code Section 200 states: “All places … shall be so constructed, equipped, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety of all persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places. All machinery, equipment and devices in such places shall be so placed, operated, guarded and lighted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to all such persons.”

Because this provision applies to construction sites, it imposes a requirement on the construction industry to provide a reasonably safe environment for all visitors and employees who are on the worksite. This includes safeguarding machines, lighting the work environment and otherwise taking reasonable steps to make sure no employees or visitors are injured.

New York Labor Code Section 240

Labor Code Section 240 states: “All contractors and owners and their agents … [who] shall furnish or erect, or cause to be furnished or erected … scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, and other devices which shall be so constructed, placed and operated as to give proper protection to a person so employed.”

Essentially, this law says that anyone who employs people who work up high and who use scaffolding, ladders or other related devices must be responsible for making sure the scaffolding or device is safe. An exception is carved out for single-family homeowners and owners of two-family dwellings if they are not in direct control of the work being performed, but otherwise, the responsibility falls on all contractors or owners to make sure that anyone working at a height is protected.

This law makes clear that it is the responsibility of the owners or contractors to provide safety gear and guards such as harnesses, barricades and safety railings. It also imposes a mandate that scaffolding should be able to hold four times the amount of weight that it is expected to actually hold.

Section 240 imposes strict liability on contractors and owners. This means that regardless of what the worker does, accidents involving a fall from a ladder, scaffold or heights or accidents where something falls from scaffolding and strikes a construction worker can be viewed as the fault of the employer or other responsible parties, and they can be held liable.

New York Labor Code Section 241

Labor Code Section 241 imposes numerous requirements on contractors and owners who hire people for excavation or demolition work. Among the requirements set forth is the basic rule in 241(6) that “[a]ll areas in which construction, excavation or demolition work is being performed shall be so constructed, shored, equipped, guarded, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection and safety to the persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places.”

The provisions in Section 241 are designed to ensure that excavators and those in the construction industry are protected from risks. They require contractors, employers and other responsible parties to take steps to keep workers safe from a variety of potential hazards at construction sites, including water accidents, chemical dangers, slipping or tripping hazards, and environmental or air contamination.

Single-family homeowners and owners of two-family homes are exempt from the requirements in Section 241, unless they have direct control over the project. Other owners are strictly liable for injuries that occur. The goal of this strict-liability rule is to ensure that the contractors or owners take appropriate measures to provide a safe working environment and to prevent harm from coming to the worker.

Hurt In a Construction Accident? Call Our NYC Construction Injury Lawyers Today

Our lawyers understand what is required for you to receive the compensation you deserve after a New York City construction accident. To learn more about our ability to help you get the most out of your claim, contact the law firm of David Resnick & Associates, P.C.

Call our firm today at 212-279-2000 or use our online contact form for a free evaluation of your case.

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