How safety is regulated on construction sites is through codes that ensure all workers are trained and have the proper equipment necessary to keep them safe. Federal, state, and local statutes set regulations to protect workers during construction industry work, such as building, remodeling, demolition, and related activities.
Some of these codes also address how the work is done and ensure the safety of the structure once completed. These codes are set by lawmakers or a government agency such as the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA Standards Protect Construction Workers in New York
Perhaps the most widely known agency that sets regulations and oversees worksite safety is OSHA. OSHA’s construction standards require employers in the construction industry to provide proper training, ensure all workers have access to the proper personal protection equipment, and adhere to other safety regulations.
These are federal standards created to keep workers safe when they are in inherently dangerous conditions, such as working on ladders or scaffolding or dealing with power tools and heavy machinery. When these standards are followed, they will help prevent the most common types of accidents that occur on construction sites.
OSHA also offers training for workers and supervisors, oversight for safety on construction sites, and compliance following an accident or report of a problem.
New York State Has Additional Protections for Some Construction Workers
Construction workers who work at an elevated height in New York State have additional protections via state laws that hold property owners and general contractors to higher standards. Under the state’s Scaffold Law, New York Labor § 240, property owners and general contractors have an obligation to ensure workers who use ladders and scaffolding have the right equipment, safety lines and harnesses, and training on how to work safely.
If a worker falls from a height or suffers other related injuries on their property while performing work, the landowner and general contractor on the project may be held strictly liable for their injuries and other damages. The worker is eligible to file for compensation for their losses—including additional income losses and pain and suffering damages not available through workers’ compensation.
Holding Those Responsible for Safety Liable After an Injury
How safety is regulated on construction sites also depends on workers who get hurt having options for collecting compensation and options for holding the property owner accountable. New York State laws generally prevent workers from filing a lawsuit against their employer for on-the-job injuries. However, this is where workers’ compensation steps in, providing medical care for their injuries and a cash benefit for a portion of their lost income.
However, under the Scaffold Law, those who have injuries following a qualifying accident can pursue additional damages. They will hold the owner of the New York construction site and/or the general contractor managing the site responsible by filing an insurance claim or civil suit in the appropriate court. They will need to show they fell from a ladder or scaffolding on a construction site owned by the defendant property owner or that the construction site was also under the authority of the general contractor if the case includes the general contractor as a defendant as well.
Seeking Justice in a Third-Party Claim Based on the Scaffold Law
Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. has a short time to help construction accident victims take action based on the Scaffold Law or other regulations under New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules § 214. We will work closely with your workers’ compensation lawyer to help maximize the financial recovery you receive, building a strong argument to support your claim against the landowner or contractor and:
- Keeping you updated about your case
- Identifying liable parties, generally the property owner or general contractor
- Communicating with all parties on your behalf as necessary
- Gathering evidence that supports your claim and financial recovery
- Determining a fair value for your case
- Fighting to win the best possible case outcome for you
If you or a family member suffered injuries in a construction accident in New York or on Long Island, the team from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. will evaluate your case for free for you today. We will meet with you on Long Island or in another New York metropolitan area that works for you. We even meet clients in the hospital, rehabilitation facilities, or their homes.
Speak with us now by calling (516) 932-0400. We have multilingual staff who will discuss your accident and options in a language that you are more comfortable with speaking, including Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Tamil, or Kannada.