New York law offers significant protection for construction workers when they work from elevations and are involved in a ladder or scaffold falling accident. No other state in the nation has passed the strict liability laws that New York has incorporated into Labor Law section 240, also nicknamed the “Scaffold Law.”
The law holds building owners, their agents and contractors accountable for injuries sustained in scaffold and ladder accidents. These parties are responsible for providing construction workers with the proper type of ladder or other equipment and ensuring it is adequately secured and safe for workers to use.
Many different types of ladders are used in construction and each has a specific use — extension ladders, stepladders, folding ladders and platform steps, to name a few. In fact, OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is a federal agency that regulates safety for workers, and OSHA has strict regulations that ladders must meet before they are deemed safe for workers. In addition, if a ladder, scaffold or platform is improperly secured and a worker falls, strict liability applies to the building owner or the owner’s agent and the general contractor overseeing the work.
Scaffolding or staging that is 20 feet high or higher must have a railing, must be securely fastened to prevent swaying and must meet other safety standards. Scaffolding must be able to withstand four times the weight it is normally expected to bear.
One and two-story family home dwellers who do not directly oversee construction work being done are not subject to Labor Law section 240.
Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP has successfully represented a number of construction workers in ladder and scaffold accident cases, and you can see some of our outcomes on our Case Results page.
Numerous accidents had occurred that involved construction and other laborers, who worked at heights, fell and suffered severe injuries. A significant number of workers also died due to unsafe ladders and scaffolds that collapsed or failed. The existing law was not offering workers adequate protection, at times did not hold responsible parties accountable and did not allow injured workers to recover sufficient compensation to offset injury expenses. The Scaffold Law gave NY courts the authority to hold contractors and building owners accountable when they were not able to do so under ordinary rules of negligence.
If you have been injured during a fall from a ladder or scaffold at a construction site, you should seek legal representation as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney can determine whether Labor Law section 240 applies to your accident.
We offer a free consultation to review your potential case. Many factors go into establishing whether grounds exist to pursue legal action. Liable parties frequently contest ladder and scaffold cases, but an experienced injury lawyer can often help you recover compensation.
Call us toll free at 888.519.6400, or contact us in Garden City at 516.248.2234, or in Flushing-Queens at 718.539.3100. You can also fill in our contact form, and we will get in touch with you.
With offices throughout New York City and the Long Island area the personal injury attorneys at Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP, assist accident victims throughout New York, including the cities of Manhattan (NYC), Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Flushing, Bayside, College Point, Jamaica, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Corona, Long Island City, Elmont, Forest Hills, Ozone Park, Springfield Gardens, Rosedale, Laurelton, Hollis, Ridgewood, Nassau, Hempstead, Elmont, Mineola, Freeport, Garden City, Uniondale, Westbury, Roosevelt, East Meadow, Levittown, Franklin Square, New Hyde Park, Williston Park, Valley Stream, as well as the communities in and around Nassau and Suffolk County, NY.