New York has some unique laws that help protect employees in dangerous professions. Those working in construction have special rules that protect them from certain kinds of injury. For more than 100 years, New York has imposed strict liability on property owners or the companies that they hire for any height or gravity-related injuries.
Companies that do repair or construction work on New York buildings need to take great care to properly protect their workers and provide the appropriate safety resources, or else they risk being responsible for any injuries that their workers suffer on the job.
How the Scaffold Law works
Essentially, New York’s Scaffold Law or Labor Law Section 240 makes the owner of a building responsible for any gravity-related injuries that would impact professionals helping to erect or maintain their edifice. When a building owner hires a construction company to work on the property, that business may ultimately be the one with liability should any workers get hurt. Either the property owner or the general contractor who hires subcontractors may have liability for gravity-related injuries.
It will be necessary to erect scaffolding, provide ladders and otherwise ensure that workers can do their jobs safely when there is any elevation involved. Those who get hurt because they fall, because scaffolding collapses or because materials or tools fall from an elevation and strike them may have grounds to ask for compensation for their medical costs and lost wages.
Height-related injuries can cause major consequences
When a worker falls from a significant elevation, they will potentially suffer injuries that require expensive medical care. In addition to their treatment costs, they may have lost wages from when they are unable to work. Some people will never be able to return to the same profession they once enjoyed after calling from a significant elevation, which may mean they need to make a sizable claim for lost wages and benefits after a gravity-related incident at work.
Building owners, employers and insurance companies are often very aggressive when negotiating compensation for gravity-related injuries. Hurt workers need to know their rights if they expect to secure compensation as permitted under New York State law. Knowing how the law protects you after a construction-related injury can help you move on with your life and continue to support your family.