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Why is the New York Scaffold Law Important?

Construction site with crane and workers at sunset

New York Labor Law section 240 provides protections for construction workers and others who work from high places such as roofs, ladders, and scaffolding. The law, known as the Scaffold Law or Scaffold Safety Law, was established to safeguard construction workers who were finding themselves facing increasing dangers while working at ever-greater heights. Continue reading to learn about New York’s Scaffold Law, and contact a dedicated and experienced Bronx construction accident lawyer for help after a New York construction accident.

What is the Scaffold Law?

New York Labor Law section 240 requires owners or general contractors of construction sites to provide proper safety equipment for workers. Under the law, if owners or GCs fail to provide safety equipment such as secure scaffold parts and fall protection equipment, and a worker is injured or killed as a result of the lack of such equipment, then the owner or contractor can be held legally responsible for the accident.

Why Does the Scaffold Law Matter?

Under the Scaffold Law, injured workers can hold a contractor or owner liable if they are injured in a scaffold accident as a result of inadequate safety equipment. On the other hand, if a contractor or owner does provide proper safety equipment for workers, then the site owner or contractor will not be liable for any accident involving scaffolding. The rule against liability applies even if the worker chose not to use available safety equipment, so long as it was available. The owner is also not liable if the accident occurred while the worker was intoxicated by drugs or alcohol when the accident occurred.

The Scaffold Law is important because it establishes absolute liability for owners and contractors who fail to provide proper safety equipment. It places upon them clear standards for safety in order to protect workers from injury and provides for liability should they fail to keep to those standards.

By allowing direct liability, workers injured due to the owner’s failure to keep proper safety equipment are not limited to workers’ compensation benefits. Injured workers can use the Scaffold Law to sue for damages unavailable under workers’ comp, such as pain and suffering, and claims can go beyond policy limits. The law allows for construction workers to recover significant damages after a workplace injury, so long as the lack of available safety equipment contributed to the fall.

Get Immediate Legal Assistance after a New York Construction Accident Injury

If you or someone you love has been hurt or killed on a construction site in New York, find out if you’re entitled to money damages for your injuries by contacting the efficient and effective personal injury lawyers at the Bronx offices of the Kohn Law Firm for a free consultation at 718-409-1200.

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