New York Guarantees a Safe Place to Work

August 6th, 2013

New York Safe Place to Work - Scaffolding

You may not be aware, but you have the right to work in a safe place in the state of New York.  (When I was a union construction worker, I was unaware of these laws.)  As an attorney, it is my passion to help enforce these laws and protect my fellow workers.

This simple yet essential right to a Safe Place to Work is guaranteed by several state and federal laws. Property owners, contractors and employers must comply with the safety laws or they can be held liable in court.

Workers typically collect Workers’ Compensation benefits for on the job injuries or occupational diseases. However, when those injuries or diseases result from a violation of one of New York’s Safe Place to Work laws, injured workers may sometimes pursue a third party lawsuit and seek damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering that are not covered by Workers’ Compensation claims.

One of these laws is New York Labor Law 200, which requires property owners and contractors to fix hazardous conditions and ensure safe work practices. This includes maintaining and storing all equipment to provide adequate protection for workers. The law protects both employees and people who frequently visit the job sites.

New York Labor Law 240, also known as the Scaffold Law, is a pillar of workplace safety in the state of New York and covers workers who work at dangerous heights or at risk of injury from falling objects. The Scaffold Law requires parties with the resources and knowledge of safety to provide proper ladders, scaffolds, harnesses and other equipment. Labor Law 240 applies to property owners, contractors, and employers, holding them liable for injuries which result from improper or malfunctioning equipment.

New York Labor Law 241 requires owners and contractors to comply with the New York State Department of Labor’s Industrial Code. The law sets safety regulations for many hazards faced by construction, demolition, and excavation workers.  These include slipping and tripping hazards, injury from falling objects or hazardous openings, material storage and handling, demolition and disposal of debris, and more. If you have any injury on a construction site, it is important you talk to experts like us to determine whether you were denied a safe work site.  Property owners and contractors are responsible for any violation, whether committed by their employees, a sub-contractor’s employees, or any other contractor.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces federal regulations that provide employees with a safe workplace. If an employer fails to follow these standards, they can be subjected to investigations and possibly fined.

If you or someone you love was injured as part of a construction project of any kind, let us help you. If an employer, owner, or contractor violated one of these Safe Place to Work laws, Dolce Panepinto will help hold them responsible. Just contact us, and we will use every available law to help you and your family get the justice you deserve.

– Marc Panepinto

Image credit: Pat Guiney on Flickr