New York Labor Law 240 works to make scaffolds, ladders, and other construction site equipment involving heights safer for workers. It establishes measures to protect NYC construction employees who are required to work at heights.

If you are injured on a NYC construction site due to dangerous scaffolding or other causes, it’s essential to contact a New York City personal injury lawyer who can help you get compensation for all your damages.

What Is NY Labor Law 240?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the second most fatal occupational event in New York in 2020 was falls, slips, or trips.

New York’s Labor Law 240 protects all construction workers working at heights in the state. It focuses on certain hazards often experienced by people working in erection, demolition, painting, cleaning, repairing, and altering buildings.

It is NY’s “Scaffolding Law,” but it also applies to other professionals who work at great heights.

Examples of Labor Law 240 Claims/Incidents

Some common injury claims where NY Labor Law 240 applies include those involving heights.

Falling Objects

Employers must ensure all objects and materials are appropriately secured, mounted, and hoisted. Injuries frequently occur when objects fall from great heights.

Falling Workers

Construction workers who use scaffolds must have the appropriate gear, including harnesses and guardrails. If an employee falls, the employer may violate Labor Law 240.

Unstable Material

Floorboards, railing, stairs, decks, and other materials must be secured. Proper maintenance and site checks are necessary.

Collapsing Structures

Employers are required to ensure buildings are adequately built to keep workers from falling. If a building or floor collapses, employees can be seriously injured or even killed.

How Does Law 240 Protect NYC Workers?

New York employers are required to ensure scaffolding and buildings are properly secured. They are also required to provide appropriate safety gear for employees. If they do not, then under Labor Law 240, the employee can file a lawsuit against the employer.

This law applies to all contractors, business owners, and their agents, except for owners of one and two-family dwellings, which do not control the work being performed.

What Does It Offer and How Is It Enforced?

New York Labor Law 240 imposes requirements on construction employers. Those who violate it are liable for the damages their employees receive above and beyond a typical workers’ compensation claim.

How Is Liability Proven and Established?

Labor Law 240 imposes complete liability on contractors and construction companies for injuries due to falls from ladders, scaffolds, and heights on job sites. There is no comparative liability, which would consider the workers’ actions that may have contributed to the accident.

However, Labor Law 240 does not inherently make the construction company negligent. The company may be able to prove that another party caused the accident through the instability of equipment. For example, if the contractor has a contract with a subcontractor that precisely shifts liability to them, then the contractor may not always be held liable. Additionally, if someone intentionally harmed another person, they may be held responsible instead of the employer.



NYC Construction Accident – Drill Runner Injured

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Why Is New York Labor Law 240 Necessary?

More than 2.3 million construction workers use scaffolds in the United States. However, scaffold accidents are widespread. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA), more than 4,500 injuries and 80 deaths yearly due to unsafe scaffolding.

What Should NYC Fall Injury Victims Know?

If you are injured on a construction site due to a fall or falling object, there are certain things you should know about how Labor Law 240 can protect you.

Criteria Applicable for a Labor Law 240 Claim or Lawsuit

Construction workers injured on the job site can file a Labor Law 240 lawsuit. They may have been engaged in the erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning, or pointing of a building or structure.

Injuries may have occurred on scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, and other devices that involve working at heights on the construction site.

Why You Need a NYC Construction Accident Lawyer

Labor Law 240 is innovative in placing responsibility for unnecessary injuries and deaths on employers. It does not consider the potential fault of the worker unless there was intentional conduct involved. However, there are ways for the employer to fight back – and they will.

Working with an experienced NYC construction accident attorney who can protect your rights and help you navigate a Labor Law 240 claim is essential. They will ensure you are not taken advantage of and help you prove liability.

Contact HKD for a Free Consultation

Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. is a New York City personal injury law firm that has worked with countless clients who were catastrophically injured on job sites. We are focused on doing what is best for you. Call us today at (212) 490-5700 or reach out online to schedule a consultation.


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