Do New York City Laws Protect Construction Workers Injured in Ladder Accidents?

Ladder Accident AttorneyIn New York City, laws are in place to protect workers who are injured in ladder accidents, particularly in the construction industry. These laws aim to ensure the safety of workers by imposing responsibilities on employers, property owners/managers, and contractors to provide a safe work environment and install appropriate safety measures. Several key laws and regulations govern ladder safety and workers’ rights in New York City, including the New York Labor Law and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. The main purpose of these laws is to prevent construction accidents and to safeguard the rights of workers who have been injured in such incidents.

New York Labor Law Section 240 (Scaffold Law)

This law, often referred to as the Scaffold Law, imposes strict liability on property owners and contractors for injuries sustained by workers due to falls from heights, including ladder accidents, at construction sites. Section 240 places a legal duty on property owners and contractors to provide proper safety equipment, including ladders, scaffolds, and harnesses, to protect workers from falls.

Under the Scaffold Law, if a worker is injured in a ladder accident due to inadequate safety measures, such as a defective ladder or lack of proper fall protection, the property owner and/or manager and/or contractor may be held liable for the worker’s injuries, regardless of fault. This law is intended to give property owners and contractors the push to prioritize worker safety and ensure compliance with safety regulations.

New York Labor Law Section 241

Section 241 of the New York Labor Law sets forth specific safety requirements and regulations for construction, demolition, and excavation work. There are regulations set forth in the Industrial Code and include provisions related to ladder safety, such as the proper placement, use, and maintenance of ladders.

If a worker is injured in a ladder accident due to a violation of the Industrial Code, such as using a damaged or improperly secured ladder, the property owner and/or contractor may be held liable for the worker’s injuries under Section 241.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards

OSHA is a federal agency that sets and enforces safety and health standards in the workplace, including regulations related to ladder safety. In addition to state laws such as the New York Labor Law, employers in New York City must comply with OSHA standards to ensure the safety of their workers. OSHA’s standards for ladder safety include requirements for ladder design, construction, use, and maintenance. Employers and others are responsible for providing training to workers on ladder safety practices, conducting regular inspections of ladders to identify hazards, and addressing any safety deficiencies promptly.

Compensation for Injured Workers

Many construction workers in New York City such as ironworkers, steelworkers, laborers, carpenters, masons, bricklayers, painters, window washers, and electricians etc. carry out their tasks while on scaffolds, ladders, platforms, etc. Injured workers in New York City may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of who was at fault for the ladder accident. Workers’ compensation provides medical treatment, some wage replacement, and other benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. If a worker is injured in a ladder accident, they can file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer’s insurance carrier.

In addition, workers may also be able to file a third-party claim against a negligent (careless) party other than the employer or co-employees for significant monetary damages and have two sources of compensation available for their losses. Examples of third parties include, but are not limited to, general contractors, construction companies, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents etc. In cases where a worker dies from injuries suffered on the job, surviving family members may seek death benefits through workers’ compensation and/or file a wrongful death claim against a third party who may be held liable for the fatal incident.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. For over 52 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses.

Our law firm recovered $3,375,576 for a construction worker (an undocumented immigrant) who was injured on the job — one of the highest construction case settlements in New York that year. Our law firm also recovered $3,000,000 for a man who fell and suffered two broken legs when he walked into an open elevator shaft. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

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