Workers at construction sites, especially those involving high rise buildings, are subject to special risks. New York State has long recognized those risks, and has special rules governing construction, demolition, and the construction industry. Those rules make owners, general contractors, and sub-contractors responsible for providing proper equipment and for providing proper protection to workers.
The New York State Labor Law has provisions which make “all contractors and owners” involved in building, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, or pointing of a building or structure responsible for providing proper protection and proper equipment to laborers including the use of proper scaffolds, hoists, ladders, ropes, and other safety devices usually employed in construction, so that the workers have proper protection.
Failing such proper protection the owner and/or contractor maybe responsible for injuries sustained by workers at a construction site.
Labor Law Section 240(1) provides liability against the owners and contractors for violation of safety rules, and makes them 100% responsible for a worker’s injury, leaving aside the workers actions in how an accident occurs.
The law has other sections that protect workers including sections that protect workers from falls caused by holes in floors, stairways, or shaftways. Here, the property owner, the contractor, and the subcontractors can be held 100% responsible for the accident.
Section 241(6) of the New York State Labor Law protects workers when there is also a specific safety regulation contained in the Industrial Code of the State of New York or in the OSHA regulations. But, here the worker’s actions are considered in determining degree of fault for the accident.
Section 200 of the New York State Labor Law requires owners and general contractors to generally provides a “safe place to work”.
The above provisions of law govern accidents at construction sites including falls due to holes or opening in floors, unguarded or uncovered holes, failure to provide adequate fall protection, and failing to protect workers by providing a safety harness.
Falls from scaffolds, sidewalk scaffolds, elevated platforms, baker’s scaffolds, and from buildings are covered under the law.
Also, covered by the Labor Law are falls from ladders where the ladders are defective, not stable, not secured, improperly secured, collapse, are wobbly, are placed on unstable or unsafe surfaces, and result in a fall.
Injuries from a falling object at a construction site or near a construction site are actionable including injuries that result from falling metal, wood, iron or steel.
Cranes are particularly problematic. Cranes require periodic thorough inspection, supervised and skilled maintenance, and highly skilled and trained workers to operate them safely. A crane can collapse, partially collapsed, fall, cause an object to fall as a result of the failure of anyone of the items mentioned above, and/or due to human failure.
The failure of an owner, contractor, or subcontractor to provide safety devices including safety harnesses, safety goggles, safety glasses, and other devices may also give rise to an action at law.
If you or loved ones have been seriously injured in a construction site accident or have had an accident near a construction site please call us. We are there to help you and your family.