Construction Site Accident Law

New York Construction Injury Attorney

Construction site accidents happen often and can be devastating to a construction worker and his family.  The worker is often the bread-winner for the family and dependent upon his union or non union wages from his work at a construction site.  The Labor Laws pertaining to construction sites are very strict in New York and are there to protect construction workers against unsafe construction practices.

Did you know that if you, as a construction worker, fall from a height, that the owner of the building and the general contractor may, in many instances, be strictly liable to you for the accident and your injuries, regardless whether you were also at fault in the accident?  

Labor Law 240 was specifically designed to protect workers required to work at a height from elevation related injuries, and holds owners and contractors strictly liable to you.  Typical cases falling under Labor Law 240 are ladder and scaffold accidents.  See below.  There are other laws such as Labor Law 241(6) and 200 which also dictate what equipment should be provided to a construction worker and the manner in which jobs are done safely, whether its structural work, electrical work, carpentry work, plumbing work or any type of construction at a site.  

Construction Site Ladder Accidents

Ladder or scaffold accidents are among the most common causes of workplace injury and death in New York, particularly at construction sites. Whenever construction workers need to work at heights above ground level or a lower structural level, the risk of injury or death significantly increases. Specific laws and rules have been enacted in order to protect construction workers who are required to work at heights. These laws mandate that certain types of ladders or scaffolds be used for a given job and they also mandate how those safety devices are to be properly utilized.

Accidents often happen when the wrong type of ladder (or example A-frame versus extension) or scaffold is used.   New York law places the responsibility on both the building owner and the General Contractor at a construction site to insure that you, a construction site worker,  are given the proper ladders or other safety equipment to perform your  jobs safely and that the equipment is used properly (someone holding the base  of the ladder in certain instances for example) and maintained properly (the rubber feet are in good working order for example). In other words, the law requires an owner and general contractor at a construction site insure that the ladders are not defectively maintained, placed or operated.  

Finally, there are different type of ladders or lifts that can be used on a job site, such as A-Frame ladders, step ladders, platform ladders, extension ladders with rubber or metal feet, rolling safety ladders, scissor lifts, and scaffolds.  You, the law holds owners and general contractors liable if you, as a construction worker, are not trained in the proper use and placement of such equipment. 

Construction Site Accident Case Result of NA Law

For example, the Law Office of Natascia Ayers recently represented a plumber hired to dismantle metal pipes from a ceiling on a renovation project.  An A-frame ladder was provided and while dismantling an end cap to one of the pipes, which was wedged on tightly, the end cap snapped causing the worker to lose his balance and fall directly onto his feet, badly fracturing both his ankles. Ms. Ayers argued that the worker should have been provided a scissor lift with guard rails for the job because it was foreseeable that the job would require him to use great force, pushing and pulling on the pipes to dismantle them, and had a scissor lift been provided, he would not have fallen to the ground.  Ms. Ayers successfully  secured multi million dollars in compensation for his horrible injuries. 

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