Under the New York Labor Law Section 240, also known as the “Scaffold Law,” New York construction workers are provided certain protections while working at elevated heights. The Scaffold Law protects construction workers who are injured as a result of a fall from an elevated height or are hit by a falling object.
Who is protected under Labor Law 240?
To be protected under Labor Law 240, a worker must be employed. In other words, the worker must demonstrate that he or she was permitted to work on the building or structure, either by the contractor, owner, or an agent of either. Volunteers are not granted protections under the Scaffold Law.
In addition to being employed, the worker must have been hired in furtherance of:
- The erection of a building or structure
- The demolition of a building or structure
- The repair of a building or structure
- The alteration of a building or structure
- The painting of a building or structure in a construction or renovation setting
- The cleaning of a building or structure
- The pointing of a building or structure (as in bricks or masonry work)
The worker must be involved in “gravity-related risk.” Labor Law 240 protects workers from a particular type of hazard, falling from an elevated height or struck by an object that was not properly secured.
Who is liable in Labor Law 240 matters?
The construction contractors, project owners, project managers, and building owner may be held liable for the construction worker’s injuries if it is found that these parties were negligent in failing to provide a safe working environment. In all areas in which construction, excavation, or demolition labor is being performed, these parties are primarily responsible for providing reasonable and adequate protection and safety to workers.
One or more of these parties may be found liable if he or she failed to furnish proper or non-defective safety equipment to protect workers against the risk of injury. A contractor, owner, or agent may also be found liable if he or she does not ensure that the workers on the site are actually using the safety devices.
Who is not liable in Labor Law 240 matters?
As a general rule, the Scaffold Law does not apply to owners of one- and two-family homes in instances in which the homeowner does not exercise supervision and control over the work being performed. In addition, professional engineers, architects, and landscape architects who do not exercise control of the job site other than the planning and design are not liable under this statute. However, this does not diminish or extinguish their liability under common law or any other provision of law.
When contractors, owners, and agents fail to provide reasonable and adequate safety and protections, workers can suffer serious and sometimes fatal injuries. If you are a New York City construction worker who has been seriously injured as a result of another individual’s failure to provide or maintain safe construction site conditions, it is important to contact an experienced New York City construction accident lawyer. The lawyers at Georgaklis & Mallas PLLC are experienced in handling various personal injury matters, including New York City construction worker injury cases. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our New York City construction accident lawyers at (718) 238-2400.