New York Labor Law 240 is also known as the Scaffold Law, and it protects construction workers against injuries caused by negligently maintained equipment. The law refers to equipment being used for erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, and cleaning or pointing of a building or structure. Contractors, owners and their agents must provide or erect the equipment being used of this work. The equipment includes:
Scaffolding or staging that is more than 20 feet form the ground or floor must have a safety rail attached, bolted, braced or otherwise secured, and the scaffolding must be fastened to prevent it from swaying from the building or structure. The scaffolds must be built to bear four times the maximum weight when in use.
According to OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), a large percentage of construction works work on scaffolds — about 65 percent, which is 2.3 million construction workers.
To prevent injury, OSHA provides safety checklists for certain kinds of scaffolds. A Bureau of Labor Statistics study showed that 72 percent of scaffold accident workers who suffered on-the-job injury said the planking or support gave way or the worker slipped or was struck by a falling object. Every year there are approximately 4,500 injuries and 60 deaths, many of which are preventable. OSHA has safety standards in place that can prevent these types of accidents.
If you have suffered serious injury in a construction accident, our attorneys at Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP offer a free initial consultation to discuss the liability involved and what the prospects are for recovering compensation for damages.