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Bronx Scaffolding Accidents Lawyer Explains New York Scaffold Law

Dec 23, 2022 | Construction Accident Articles

Does Your Injury Qualify as a Scaffold Accident Under New York Scaffold Law?

New York City’s magnificent buildings are world-famous, and many people love them. The One World Trade Center, the wondrous Statue of Liberty, and many more. But have you ever considered at what cost these impressive buildings have been constructed? The falls, accidents, injuries, or even deaths of workers who risked their lives to bring these architectural masterpieces to reality. New York Scaffold Law protects construction workers that use scaffolding equipment. The laws can be complicated to break down and understand – in this article a Bronx scaffolding accidents lawyer explains how it all works.


How Does New York Scaffold Law Protect Scaffold Workers?

  • Requiring employers and property owners or contractors to provide adequate safety equipment and precautions on the site to deal with scaffolding hazards
  • Imposing strict liability for any scaffolding accident that occurs when New York Scaffold Law, the OSHA Scaffolding Regulations, and/or OSHA Scaffolding Inspection Requirements are breached
  • Gives an industry-specific opportunity for compensation to the injured scaffold worker rather than settling for the general workers’ protection program.


Bronx Scaffolding Accidents Lawyer: Why the New York Scaffold Law Deserves to Remain in Place

The short answer is that the New York Scaffold Law places absolute or full liability on property owners and general contractors when a scaffold accident occurs as a result of inadequate safety equipment and precautions.

Every scaffolding worker knows that working on a scaffold is like walking on eggshells. A wrong step or improperly set up scaffold could lead to a serious fall. This kind of scaffolding fall could mean severe injuries or even workplace death. It is extremely important that scaffolding hazards and precautions are taken into account on a construction site.

As a New York scaffold worker, you need to ask yourself:

  • What legal protection or compensation plans do you have in place for workplace scaffolding accidents?
  • How would you react and what do you need if you or a loved one were injured or died in a scaffold accident?


What is Considered a Scaffolding Accident?

There are two main categories of gravity-related accidents considered scaffold accidents:

  1. Falls, trips, or slips from a scaffold.
  2. Objects falling from the scaffold on a victim.

However, not all gravity-related accidents are regarded as scaffold accidents. For instance, accidents that occur while routine work such as changing a light bulb, or cleaning shelves or ceilings by a maid, is not considered scaffold accidents. Every case is fact specific so you should contact our Bronx scaffolding accidents lawyer to discuss the details of any accident that has happened to you.

Scaffold accidents may be said to occur during construction, painting, demolition, or pointing of a building. Accidents that occur while carrying out the following duties are considered scaffold accidents in NYC.

Scaffold Accidents are Usually Attributed to:

  • Construction
  • Altering
  • Repairing
  • Demolition
  • Painting
  • Cleaning
  • Installing scaffolding, hoists, ladders, pulleys, etc.

In 2017 alone, 31 workers were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to have either suffered fatal injuries as a result of a fall, slip, or trip accident in New York. On June 20, 2017, a Brooklyn construction worker fell to his death. It is in the face of all these sad incidents that New York scaffolding workers have opposed the repeal of the New York Scaffold Law.


What is Unique About New York Scaffold Law?

In 1995, the state of Illinois repealed the strict absolute liability posture in its scaffolding law, leaving the New York Scaffold Law as the last surviving statute in the United States that imposes total liability on property owners and employers. It is found in the New York Labor Law § 240 – 241.

The law imposes the full responsibility of maintaining safety on the contractors and property owners. New York’s law requires that property owners and contractors must ensure that a scaffolding site, as well as the workers, are adequately equipped with the proper precautions to prevent scaffolding hazards.


Violating OSHA Scaffolding Regulations: Liability & Damages

Scaffold accidents are usually attributed to the fault of property owners, lessors, contractors, or employers and their failure to comply with the law by maintaining reasonable and applicable safety measures. The presumption at trial is usually in favor of the claimant. However, the claimant has to prove that the accident falls within the scope of New York Scaffold Law Labor Law § 240.

It is hard to watch when you or a loved one gets injured as a result of a preventable accident. It’s harder to stand by and do nothing even when you believe that you deserve compensation for the scaffolding injury’s discomfort.

A victim of a scaffold accident may seek both compensatory (medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and emotional suffering), and other damages from the court. Make sure to complete a scaffolding accident report as soon as possible and get in contact with a Bronx scaffolding law lawyer.


Do I Need A Bronx Scaffolding Accidents Lawyer?

Make sure to fill out and collect a scaffolding accident report. If the New York Scaffold Law and/or OSHA Scaffolding Inspection Requirements were violated, you should pursue obtaining financial compensation.

Find out if your injury is enough to sustain a claim for damages by consulting with an experienced scaffold accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Elan Wurtzel. Let’s talk — it’s free!

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