Owners of larger residential or commercial buildings are automatically liable if an accident occurs under Section 240. In 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 20 workers died in New York City from construction-related accidents. To learn more call 212-571-7100 today for a free consultation.”, Sources:https://www.bls.gov/regions/new-york-new-jersey/news-release/fatalworkinjuries_newyorkcity.htmhttps://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html. Short Title: Definitions; Article 2. What is the “scaffold law?” New York’s “scaffold law” (also known as Labor Law § 240 and 241) requires “all contractors and owners and their agents…to give proper protection” to … Search New York Codes. Section 241 directly addresses how floors are constructed during the building progresses and the materials to be used, along with elevators and any type of hoisting apparatus. Section 240 of New York State Labor Law, the “Scaffolding Law”, protects the rights of construction workers who suffer a fall or are struck by a falling object. This legal requirement mandates construction owners and contractors to provide scaffolding and other safety measures to protect workers. The Scaffold Law is a proven disincentive to investing in construction site safety. New York long ago adopted a scaffolding law design to protect construction workers and others from certain unsafe work conditions, including those associated with scaffolding and construction. The New York State legislature probably realized that it could not repeal Newton’s law, but it did enact the “Scaffold Law” (New York State Labor Law §240) to protect workers against the dangers of gravity while they are on the job. The reasoning for this is because Section 240 allows for injured parties to recover more than they would be allowed to under common law or workers’ compensation. If you or someone you love were injured in a scaffolding-related accident, you deserve justice for the pain and suffering from your injury. All rights reserved. New York Labor Law 240 Nicknamed the Scaffolding Law, Section 240 protects the rights of workers injured in a fall or due to a falling object striking them. New York’s Scaffold Law is the only law of this kind in the country that holds construction site owners and general contractors absolutely liable for scaffold accidents which result in injuries to construction workers. If you’ve experienced an accident while working at an elevated height and you think that the scaffold law may apply to your situation, then you should not delay talking to an experienced personal injury attorney. New York, NY, 10177 Unfortunately, construction accidents happen more often than we’d like to hear about. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. It’s important to understand the differences in these three sections of the New York State Labor Law. Section 240 also excludes owners of one and two-family dwellings who do not control the work being performed from responsibility, unless they took direct oversight of a project. Even when acting with extreme caution and using appropriate safety measures, there’s always potential for an accident that can cause injuries or even fatalities. New York Labor Law Sections 240 and 241, the “Scaffolding Law” protects the rights of construction workers or visitors who suffer a fall or are struck by a falling object. Under this section of New York State Labor Law, owners and contractors must take reasonable steps to provide adequate safety provisions for their workers. For instance, under Section 240, a worker must have been working on a structure that is legally defined as a building. These statistics are discouraging, especially when you consider The New York City Buildings Department reports there have been 287 construction-related injuries and five fatalities in the five boroughs during the first six months of 2019. Property owners and contractors must provide scaffolding and other safety measures to protect workers and visitors, including scaffolding, hoists, ladders, slings, hangers, pulleys, and ropes. New York State Labor Law sections 240/241, known as the Scaffold Law, holds contractors and property owners engaged in construction, repair or demolition work 100% liable for gravity-related injuries despite any gross negligence on the part of injured workers, such as failure to use proper safety equipment, Insurance Journal has reported. New Scaffold Law SCAFFOLD INJURIES, ACCIDENTS & DEATH. Reasonable steps include scaffolding, hoists, ladders, slings, hangers, … Fill out the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. To join NYCOSH in … If officials discover a dangerous situation, notice is placed to warn all workers and visitors of the danger. 250 Park Avenue, 7th Floor Fortunately, New York construction workers, including independent contractors, have strong legal protection to recoup for their injuries. Section 200 also provides protection for visitors and indicates the job site must have adequate lighting and guardrails. New York City Building Code The Building Code sets forth standards and specifications for the installation of supported, outrigger and suspended scaffolds. The Scaffold Law in New York. It provides coverage where other laws do not. If you’re covered, a MOWK personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation that you’re entitled to receive. By submitting this form I agree with the Terms & Conditionsand Privacy Policy of the website. The scaffolding must be able to hold 4x its maximum weight. They can help you sort out the complexities of the law. Disclaimer | Attorney Advertising, Understanding Partition Actions in New York. Cancel. Sections 200 and 241 outline a general overview of what’s covered which means there is room for legal interpretation. In this case, the worker needs to be engaged in work that was in “furtherance of a project” that is one of the activities covered by the statute. Essentially, the law holds that general contractors and property owners are 100% liable for any gravity-related (falling) accident in which they are at least somewhat at fault. Scaffolding and other devices for use of employees on Westlaw Scaffolding and other devices for use of employees on Westlaw FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system . The Scaffold Law imposes “absolute liability” upon contractors and property owners for elevation-related injuries involving construction, repair, or demolition work. In New York, a violation of the Scaffold Law occurs where a scaffold is inadequate in and of itself to protect workers against the elevation-related hazards encountered while dismantling that device, and it is the only safety devise supplied, as indicated in Labor Law § 240. These conditions are the most dangerous in construction work. In the event an accident has occurred, an attorney can examine the situation and determine if the injury is covered under Section 240. It was enacted into law in 1885 and predates more than 135 years of laws and protections which ensure worker safety on construction sites. Use this page to navigate to all sections within Labor Law. NY Scaffold Law (Labor Law 200, 240, 241), By submitting this form I agree with the Terms & Conditions, Most Common Fatal Construction Accidents in New York City. Co-Managing Partner and Chair of O'Dwyer & Bernstien's Labor & Employee Benefits practice, Jason has over twenty years of experience in the New York legal industry. This means that when the owner/contractor doesn’t give the worker all the necessary safety equipment that they’re entitled to and the worker gets injured as a result, then their employer is held completely responsible. New York’s Scaffold Law is the only law of this kind in the country that holds construction site owners and general contractors absolutely liable for scaffold accidents which result in injuries to construction workers. New York Labor Law 200 protects the rights of both workers and any visitors to the job site. Under the Scaffold Law, contractors and property owners are responsible for providing scaffolding and other equipment that gives “proper protection” to construction workers employed on the site. The work must take place on a structure, legally defined as a building but can also include boats, bridges, garages, subway tunnels, and water towers. What Is The Average Car Accident Settlement In New York? Erecting buildings and erections of safety measures (braces, hoists, ladders, and pulleys). “Any worker sustaining an injury at a New York construction site should consult with an attorney to determine if the accident is covered under Sections 200, 240, or 241 of New York State Labor Law.”, Brian O’Dwyer, Construction Accident Lawyer – O’Dwyer & Bernstien. However, the definition of a building is broad because it includes other types of structures, such as bridges, boats, subway tunnels, and garages. This legal provision also mandates owners and contractors will arrange equipment in such a way to maximize the safety of construction workers and any visitors to the job site. However, Section 240 only covers certain types of scaffold work including the following: If the worker was engaged in these specific activities, then the law applies to them, but it may also apply to a worker if they weren’t engaged in one of the activities at the time of the accident. All construction workers should be familiarized and understand New York Labor Law Section 240 (also known as the “Scaffolding Law”), along with Sections 200 and 241, which also provide protection for New York construction workers. What Medical Questions can an Employer ask During Covid-19? Caught-in/Between (caught or crushed by equipment, structures, or materials) 5.1%, Erections of safety measures including blocks, braces, hoists, ladders, pulleys, or related types of equipment. Many types of employees and independent contractors deal with scaffolds daily in their work, including window washers, painters, welders, carpenters, bricklayers, electricians, to name just a few. The NY scaffolding law provides some of the most important liability protections for construction workers. It is structured to ensure construction company owners and contractors take reasonable steps to give workers a safe working environment. But according to the websit, www.scaffoldlaw.org and the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, the Scaffold Safety Law burdens all New Yorkers because the law generates an astounding number of expensive lawsuits that contribute to a variety of negative impacts—higher construction costs, fewer workers being hired (or even fired) and consumers paying higher prices for goods and services. If you, or a loved one, were injured under any of the negligent conditions set by these three New York State Labor Law mandates, you can file both an injury claim and for workers’ compensation. Section 240 is very clear it only covers specific types of construction work. Under the current law, no amount of safety equipment, training, or workplace controls will … “The experienced attorneys at O’Dwyer & Bernstien have been fighting for the rights of New York Construction Accident Workers for over 100 years! Our law makes New York State the least attractive building environment on Earth. Some of the specific provisions that the owners must comply with that are intended to protect workers include the following: The unique feature of “absolute liability” that the statute places on site owners and contractors who break the law makes Section 240 controversial. It is applied directly to the owner or his or her agent in the incident. NYC’s Scaffold Safety Law ensures that contractors must provide their workers with proper safety equipment while doing work at high elevations. This law is unique to New York … Dating back to 1885, the law holds building owners and developers 100% liable for … What Does the Scaffolding Law Say? However, Section 240, the Scaffolding Law, is very specific and courts tend to be stricter when it comes to interpreting this law. State and federal legislators, business lobbying groups and chambers have been trying to reform the Scaffold Law for years to no avail. What is the “Scaffold Law?” The Scaffold Law (NYS Labor Law sections 240/241) imposes “absolute liability” for elevation-related injuries on contractors and property owners engaged in construction, repair, or demolition work. If you’re naming some of the most dangerous areas of work, then construction work is usually near the top of the list. 45 Broadway, Suite 2430 Section 240 of New York State Labor Law, the “Scaffolding Law”, protects the rights of construction workers who suffer a fall or are struck by a falling object. The NY Scaffold Law, also known as Labor Law 240/241 provides protection for construction workers and pedestrians against falling debris, falls from heights and other gravity related injuries at unsafe construction sites. Suspended Scaffold Required Notification The Department must be notified 24 to 48 hours before the use or installation of c-hooks and outrigger beams (BC 3314.1.1). Read this complete New York Consolidated Laws, Labor Law - LAB § 240. A scaffolding which is positioned 20 feet or more above the ground or the floor must be equipped with a safety railing that rises a minimum of 34 inches, which is nearly 3 feet; The railing must be securely fastened to the scaffold to prevent swaying; The safety rail must enclose the full-length and both ends of the scaffold; and. This includes: The law is also very explicit in that it relates only to construction, and excludes activities related to maintenance, manufacturing, or decorative work on a structure. If you file legal action under New York State Sections 200, 240, or 241 this won’t affect your eligibility to file for workers’ compensation. While New York Labor Law 200 and 241 allow for a broader legal interpretation when filing a personal injury claim, courts require a stricter interpretation of Labor Law 240. The law makes an exception for residential property owners who “contract for but do not direct or control the work.” In 1993, the New York Court of Appeals held in What is the Scaffold Law? New York, NY 10006, Phone: 212-571-7100 These scaffold workers risk serious injury or even death every day at their jobs. According to New York Labor Law’s Section 240, owners and contractors are required “to give proper protection to a person so employed” when their work contributes to the “erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of a building or structure.” Some of the provisions established by the law to protect workers include: Section 241 specifically refers to construction situations involving demolition, excavation, and safety equipment. Dismantle this law: New York’s Scaffold Law diminishes affordable housing supply by driving up the cost of construction NY Daily News | 26d You’ve heard the warnings from voices throughout the city, including on these pages: With the COVID pandemic having throttled entire industries and devastated incomes, millions of New Yorkers are way behind on their rents. The owners and contractors must give proper protection to workers who do specific work that is named in the statue. The crisis is caused by the so-called “Scaffold Law,” an archaic construction liability law that only exists in New York. New York, NY, 10177, © document.write(new Date().getFullYear()) MOWK Law | Phone: 212.920.6695 | Fax: 917.382.3934 Located in Lower Manhattan, NY, the attorneys at O’Dwyer & Bernstien, LLP provide legal representation in the fields of personal injury, construction injury, labor and employment, and real estate law. Toll-Free: 800-536-5688 Article 1. New York Labor Law 240. This is FindLaw's hosted version of New York Consolidated Laws, Labor Law. Although, the history of these laws can be traced back to the 1885 Scaffold Law, they have gone through various amendments, or versions over the past hundred years, which has expanded its scope beyond work performed on scaffolds. Many opponents have called for reforms because no other state has an equivalent law; they also believe that it raises construction costs for New York. The Scaffold Safety Law states that when a worker doesn’t get all the necessary safety equipment, and then gets injured as a result, their employer is completely responsible. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a federal agency that mandates safety requirements and tracks worker injuries and deaths across the U.S., reports the “fatal four” accidents in the U.S. construction industry include: According to OSHA, these injuries account for 20.7% of all worker fatalities across all industries in the nation. Search by Keyword or Citation; Search by Keyword or Citation. This also means that the construction site owner can’t transfer blame for the accident to a foreman or to the worker. Cuomo To Fix Costly Scaffold Law December 7, 2020 Dismantle This Law: New York’s Scaffold Law Diminishes Affordable Housing Supply by Driving up the Cost of Construction Together they are known as New York’s Labor Laws. What Is The NY Scaffold Law? This legal requirement mandates construction owners and contractors to provide scaffolding and other safety measures to protect workers. Pedestrians, motorists, or other passersby to a worksite are also not covered under Section 240. The Scaffold law (NY Labor Law Section 240) was enacted in New York in 1885, to protect workers from unsafe conditions. 250 Park Avenue, 7th Floor New York Scaffold Law – Strict Liability of Owners and Contractors for Non-Compliance. Scaffold or staging more than twenty feet from the ground or floor, swung or suspended from an overhead support or erected with stationary supports, except Scaffold wholly within the interior of a building and covering the entire floor space of any room therein, shall have a safety rail of suitable material properly attached, bolted, braced or otherwise secured, rising at least thirty-four inches above … Specifically, this law imposes absolute liability. Placement of this notice means any equipment, machinery, or devices are prohibited from use until the problem is corrected and the notice is removed. You can read more about scaffolding accidents from our Scaffolding Accident Prevention Guide. © O'Dwyer & Bernstien, LLP. The Department of Labor estimates that over half of the construction industry works on scaffolds, which means close to 2.3 million workers. Fortunately, there are laws in place that help to protect construction workers and give them certain rights. 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