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When a personal injury occurs to a worker in the course of a construction project, it is often necessary to resort to New York Labor Law to find the applicable law or regulation which shows that the employer or property owner was negligent by failing to conform with the requirements of the law. Below are some of the sections of New York Labor Law frequently cited in cases where a construction worker is injured on-site.
Section 200 is not limited to the construction industry but rather imposes a general duty on employers to protect the health and safety of employees. Employers are to provide a workplace that provides reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety of the workers.
This law is often equated with the common law rule of negligence. To establish liability under common law negligence, one must prove that one party owed a duty to another, that the duty was breached, and that the breach of that duty injured the other party, causing legal damages. In this case, the duty is established by law in Section 200, and it is breached when employers fail to provide adequate protection to their employees.
Sections 240 and 241 both cover the construction industry, specifically building construction, demolition and repair work. Section 240 covers scaffolding and other devices, and 240 (1) requires contractors and owners to utilize scaffolds, hoists, ladders, pulleys, braces, ropes, and other protective devices to protect employees working on heights from falls or injuries from falling objects.
Section 241 covers construction, excavation and demolition work, and provides many subsections regarding how work must be performed safely. For instance, 241 (6) requires that buildings be shored or guarded during construction and demolition to prevent pieces of the building from falling or collapsing onto the workers
For every section of a statute, there are a host of rules and regulations referring specifically to that section. These rules and regs are found in the New York Code, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR), specifically in Title 12 for regulations covering the Department of Labor. For rules specific to the construction industry, you have to drill down to Title 12, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, Part 23. Here you will find very specific provisions covering scaffolding, cranes, forklifts, ladders, etc.
It is important to know not only the specific provision of New York Labor Law that applies to your case, but the applicable rule and regulation as well. Construction accident cases are vigorously defended against by employers and their insurers, and making a claim under the wrong statute or regulation can be damaging or fatal to your claim. If you have been injured in a New York City construction accident, contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. for a free consultation with an attorney who understands how to successfully pursue personal injury claims under New York labor law.