NY Construction Lawyer: Understanding Labor Law 240

We Represent Victims of Workplace Fall Injuries

New York is one of the best cities in the world for construction workers. With so much construction going on in the City and throughout the state, it is no surprise that there are strict laws regarding the safety of construction workers. One of the most important and oft-cited is Labor Law 240, also known as the "scaffold law," which is part of the state’s legal statutes.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a fall while on the job, call the NY construction injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP. We offer a free consultation to discuss your situation, and if we take your case, you pay nothing until we get you just compensation. Call today at (212) 986-7353.

What Is Labor Law 240?

Labor Law 240, or the "scaffold law," is part of New York State law, under Article 10, which covers construction, demolition, and repair work on buildings. It is written in lengthy language but does something simple: it protects workers who are at risk of falls from heights while on the job. This law covers workers who are up on scaffolds, ladders, or other supports while working at heights, as well as equipment that falls and hits someone from a height.

Labor Law 240 dictates that it is the responsibility of a company or building owner having work, renovation, or construction done to provide safety equipment for workers to protect them from falls. Most states do not have such a specific law in place to protect workers from the negligence of their employers, which is why it is such an important and often-attacked law.

How Does the Scaffold Law Protect Workers?

Labor Law 240 places total liability for worker safety and accidents involving heights on the contractor or owner who is directing or controlling work being done to build, maintain, or repair a structure. In other words, the law recognizes that on a jobsite, it is up to a construction company or contractor to provide scaffolds and other safety equipment for workers who are above the ground. It also specifies scaffolds must be able to bear four times the maximum weight required for workers and materials that are going to be placed on them.

How Does Liability Work Under Labor Law 240?

Quite simply, Labor Law 240 makes contractors and construction companies liable for injuries and accidents involving falls from ladders, heights, and scaffolds. There is no comparative liability that considers how a worker might have contributed to an accident – the company running the jobsite is completely liable. It is important to note, however, that Labor Law 240 does not inherently make the company negligent under the law, and negligence by another party could shift liability to that party under certain circumstances. But, in general, after any accident involving working on scaffolds or other raised platforms, the company or building owner is considered liable.

Can Employers Get Around It?

Sometimes it is possible for a contractor or employer to get around Labor Law 240, but it is not easy. This can be done by showing a specific contract that shifts liability to a subcontractor. In some cases of extreme negligence by another party, which resulted in a fall, liability can be shifted to that party. For example, if a worker on a scaffold throws an object down at another worker, or physically grabs someone else and pushes him off the scaffold, a contractor could try to shift liability to that worker due to his negligence.

Even though New York law is on the side of injured workers, it is very important to have an experienced NY work injury lawyer to make sure your rights are protected against these big corporations. If you or a loved one has been injured while on the job, call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, today at (212) 986-7353 for a free consultation.

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If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact the New York personal injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP today for a FREE, no obligation consultation today:

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