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Construction workers must know New York Labor Law Section 240

Whether you live in the heart of the city or in one of her nearby suburbs like White Plains, you know that New York is constantly under construction. In fact, there's a good chance that you or someone your know works in construction.

If your work takes you to a construction site in New York, then you need to know about New York Labor Law Section 240 (S240), and federal-level laws that S240 builds upon and exceeds.

Construction sites are always a potentially dangerous environment, but the dangers increase significantly in a dense city environment like New York, where much of the construction goes straight up rather than out.

At the federal level, construction workers enjoy a number of protections to ensure their safety and fair treatment if they become injured. S240 acknowledges these existing regulations and expands up on them, offering New York construction workers some of the broadest, far-reaching protections available in any state.

Federal scaffold protections

In broad strokes, any set of scaffolding used in construction must meet standards of capacity and maintenance set by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Unsurprisingly, injuries involving workers falling from scaffolding or objects falling from scaffolding and striking workers make up a large portion of construction injury claims.

OSHA requires that each scaffold component have the capacity to hold more than four times the maximum suggested weight for the scaffolding structure. Similarly, suspension ropes used in conjunction with scaffolding must support over six times the maximum weight.

The agency also maintains standards for inspecting, assembling and dismantling scaffolding. Each step of the process should occur under the supervision of an individual with appropriate, competent knowledge of specific OSHA guidelines, typically a supervisor. In addition to this, harnesses and other safety gear should undergo inspection by a qualified responsible party before each use.

S240 goes well beyond OSHA requirements

Under S240, New York construction workers enjoy even wider protection. S240 places "absolute liability" on contractors and property owners for scaffolding-related injuries, especially if they do not take proper care to ensure the safety of their worksites.

It is also possible to place liability on a contractor or property owner if a worker is not employed by that party, or if the worker's own negligence was partially responsible for an injury.

In brief — if you suffer a scaffolding-related injury in New York, there is a high likelihood that a you can hold a contractor or property owner liable for the damages.

Fight for justice with a strong team

Even though the law leans in the favor of workers here, the scale of your compensation is never guaranteed. You should always consult with an experienced, skilled attorney with an in-depth knowledge of local and state laws to determine the best path toward justice after a worksite injury.

Proper legal guidance can help ensure that your rights remain secure as you seek fair treatment and look toward a bright future.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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