Construction Site Accidents
Pospis Law offers representation to workers injured in certain construction activities. If you or a loved one have been injured in a construction accident, we can help.
Construction is, particularly in New York City, extremely dangerous work. Workers are often required to perform extraordinarily difficult tasks, using complex pieces of equipment, at dizzying heights – at times thousands of feet above the streets. On construction sites, the prospect of catastrophic injuries (or even death) is always present.
Unfortunately, property owners and contractors sometimes elevate the desire to cut costs (and, hence, increase profits) above worker safety. Fortunately, New York State has some of the strongest worker-protective laws in the country.
While ordinarily an employee is precluded by the Workers Compensation Law from suing their employers, specific provisions of the New York Labor Law authorize lawsuits against third parties, such as general contractors and owners.
One such statute, Labor Law § 240(1) (otherwise known as the “Scaffold Law”), provides:
All contractors and owners and their agents, except owners of one and two-family dwellings who contract for but do not direct or control the work, in the erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of a building or structure shall furnish or erect, or cause to be furnished or erected for the performance of such labor, scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, and other devices which shall be so constructed, placed and operated as to give proper protection to a person so employed.
The purpose of this statute is to protect workers, through the use of certain protective devices, from gravity-related hazards. It achieves this function by placing the responsibility for maintaining safety practices on those best situated to bear that responsibility – namely, contractors, owners, and their agents. In order for liability to be imposed under this section, the owner or contractor must fail to provide appropriate safety devices, and that lapse must be the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries.
Additional protections are provided by Labor Law § 200 and Labor Law § 241(6), as well as common law.
If you have been injured in a construction site accident, please feel free to contact us today for a free consultation.
- Pospis Law Blog – Construction Accidents
- New York Industrial Code Rule No. 23 (“Protection in Construction, Demolition and Excavation Operations”)