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Construction Accidents and NY Labor Law Section 200

Construction scene in New York City. Excavator and several tools of construction. Edited with orange and teal colors.

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, New York has certain laws that grant construction workers additional protection and pathways to recovery following a workplace injury. Section 240 (the Scaffold Law) protects workers who fall off of scaffolding or are otherwise injured from an elevated surface or in “gravity-related” accidents. Section 241(6) ensures that the proverbial “buck” stops with property owners and general contractors when it comes to construction worker safety. Below, we discuss a third New York Labor Law provision: Section 200. Like Section 241, Section 200 requires owners and contractors to keep their workplaces reasonably safe for workers, although Section 200 is broader in its application. Read on for a discussion of Labor Law Section 200, and call a zealous NYC construction accident attorney if you have been injured or lost a loved one in a New York City construction accident.

Labor Law Section 200: Filling in the Gaps

Labor Law sections 240 and 241(6) protect construction workers, giving them a right of action when they are injured as a result of their employers’ failure to maintain proper safety standards at a construction worksite. Section 240 and 241(6) are relatively limited in their application, however, applying to specific circumstances and violations of very specific safety standards. Section 200 provides a remedy for construction workers injured on sites when Sections 240 and 241(6) do not apply or the risks are not specifically covered by the New York Industrial Code or a specific OSHA standard.

Section 200 provides that all New York construction sites must be operated in such a manner as to maintain a reasonable level of safety for workers and visitors. Specifically, worksites must be “constructed, equipped, arranged, operated, and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health, and safety of all persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places. All machinery, equipment, and devices in such places shall be so placed, operated, guarded, and lighted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to all such persons.”

If Section 200 is violated, injured workers could have a cause of action against the site owner or general contractor.

Liability Under Section 200

Section 200 gives injured workers a right of action when the site owner or general contractor was negligent, and that negligence can be connected to the worker’s injury. The law includes specific instructions for safety regarding equipment, lighting, sanitation and health, vertical transportation, radiation, fire response, and exits.

An injured party has a Section 200 claim under one of two circumstances: 1) If the party was injured by coming into contact with a dangerous or defective condition, the owner or GC knew or should have known of the hazard, and the owner or GC failed to adequately warn of or remedy the hazard, the injured party has a claim for damages. 2) An owner or GC may also be held liable when the worker’s injuries were caused by unsafe work practices over which the owner or GC exercised supervisory control.

Labor Law Section 200 protects people who work on the site where an accident occurs. The specific work being performed is not limited in the manner of Sections 240 or 241(6); anyone hired to work on a job site, factory, or anywhere else covered by the general chapter on construction work and labor is protected by Section 200’s requirements.

Considered Advice and Effective Representation for Your New York Construction Accident Claim

Construction workers deserve to have their health and their rights protected. If you or someone you care about has been hurt on a construction site in New York City, find out if you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries by contacting the diligent and successful New York construction injury lawyer Leandros A. Vrionedes for a free consultation at 212-889-9362 or 718-777-5895.

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