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Ernest Holzberg & Associates Blog

New York City Personal Injury Lawyers

Ernest Holzberg & Associates FAQ

New York City Personal Injury Lawyers

What is the Scaffold Law?

The Scaffold law (NY Labor Law Section 240) was enacted in New York in 1885, to protect workers from unsafe conditions. Essentially, the law holds that general contractors and property owners are 100% liable for any gravity-related (falling) accident in which they are at least somewhat at fault.  This means that employers need to proactively protect employees with adequate safety procedures, equipment, and training.

Despite what the term “scaffold” may seem to imply, a gravity-related accident is not just limited to a fall from a scaffold. It can also include falls from ladder, hoists, lings, hangers, pulleys, ropes, and many other similar devices. Furthermore, scaffolding laws encompass accidents as a result of falling objects.

In most states, workers who are injured on the job receive only worker’s compensation benefits, which bars them from suing their employers for an accident or injury that may have been the result of the employers’ negligence.  This can be problematic because the amount an injured worker may receive via workers compensation benefits is often limited by state law, and could result in an insufficient amount of money to cover the full spectrum of effects that can result from a workplace accident.

In New York, however, courts generally hold that contractors and some property owners are strictly liable when a worker is injured in a preventable accident such as a fall or by a falling object. Unlike other claims for personal injury, the injured worker’s own negligence, unless it is was the immediate and only cause of the injury, will not typically prevent the worker from recovering damages.

Construction is a dangerous industry which carries many risks for workers. Despite the prevalence of federal, state and local rules designed to safeguard the industry, the unfortunate fact is that thousands of workers every year are injured or killed in construction site accidents.

According to a study conducted by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) many of these unfortunate deaths could have been prevented if the employer made the worksite safer and regulatory inspectors better enforced its health and safety regulations.

Gravity-related construction accidents are often serious and can be life-threatening as well as life-altering. If you or a loved one have been the victim of an injury at a construction site, contact a skilled construction injury attorney immediately.  The New York accident attorneys at Ernest Holzberg & Associates will help you to get compensation for your injuries. Call us today at 212-391-1139 for a free consultation.

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