Construction workers must often utilize scaffolding in order to perform their work. When a worker falls from scaffolding, or when scaffolding collapses, it often causes them life-altering injuries. A section of the New York Labor Law, known as the “Scaffolding Law,” allows injured workers to bring lawsuits against the party or parties responsible for their falls. The Labor Law Section 240 of New York protects construction workers who are injured while on scaffolds to help them pay for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and other expenses. Under this code, building owners and general contractors are required to provide proper safety protection for all workers on site.

New York State has a statute that provides special legal protection to workers while working at heights. Two reasons for this are (1) the severity of the injuries that result from elevated falls, and (2) construction workers rely on the project owner, general contractor, construction/project manager, etc. to provide a safe working environment. They are primarily responsibility to ensure that the elevated work location is safe. There are two main provisions of the labor law under which you might bring a lawsuit for a construction site accident: sections 240(1) and 241(6). 

  • Labor Law §240(1) also know as the “Scaffold Law.”   This provision allows a worker to sue a third party for injuries he or she suffered while either, a) falling from a height, or b) having something fall from a height onto them. This law places responsibility for your fall from a height on the third party, if the third party failed to furnish proper, non-defective safety devices to guard against the risks. A third party can be the project owner, general contractor, or others. According to New York Labor Law 240, it is the responsibility of the third party to provide whatever safety lines, harnesses, guardrails, and other equipment that are necessary to guarantee your safety while you are working at an elevation.

  • Labor Law §241(6) is a provision that allows workers to sue a third party if there was some violation of a safety regulation.

The law requires the following safety equipment:

  • Crawling boards

  • Portable stanchions

  • Roofing brackets

  • Safety gear

  • Safety railings

Unfortunately, there have been cases in which an employer has failed to provide the legally required safety equipment or; the structure had been built improperly and failed to meet the state or federal sanctioned safety requirements. Employers who allow workers to perform their duties on unsafe scaffolding structures should be held accountable for the injuries sustained by a construction worker who falls.

Our Queens scaffolding accident lawyers have successfully resolved suspension scaffold, mobile scaffold, baker scaffold, scissor lift and pipe scaffold cases. If you need a qualified lawyer in New York, contact the law offices of Neil Kalra.


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