There are many types of scaffolds such as suspended motorized scaffolds, Bakers’ scaffold and pipe scaffolding. Adequate and properly constructed scaffolds allow workers to perform their work safely at a height.
When scaffolding is inadequate and a worker falls, the injuries can be catastrophic. Common accidents involving scaffolding include scaffolding that collapses or tips over, scaffolding that is unstable or defective, and scaffolding that lacks adequate guardrails.
A worker injured in an accident involving scaffolding was generally not provided with the required personal safety equipment, including harnesses and safety lines. Failure to comply with New York law regarding scaffold rules can be the basis for a lawsuit against contractors and owners.
Scaffolding Labor Laws
New York Labor Law § 240 (1), also known as the “Scaffold Law,” places the responsibility directly on contractors and owners to ensure that proper safety practices and equipment are provided to workers. Importantly, it is not the workers’ responsibility.
The central purpose of the Scaffold Law is to protect construction workers who are exposed to lifting-related hazards during their work and to prevent them from falling.
The Scaffold Law goes beyond scaffolding; it also applies when proper safety equipment is not provided, including properly secured ladders, proper hoists, safety harnesses, guardrails and lifelines.
The Scaffolding Law may also cover situations where a worker is injured by falling object, and possibly any injury caused by the force of gravity and lack of proper equipment or safety practices. In addition, New York Labor Law §241(6), along with Part 23 of the New York Industrial Code, regulates the protection of workers in construction, demolition and excavation operations, and requires owners and contractors and their agents to provide workers with a safe place to work.
Mobile Scaffolding Labor Law
The regulations include many rules applicable to scaffolds. For example, §23-5.18 of the Industrial Code, which applies to manually propelled mobile scaffolds, prohibits moving a scaffold while workers are still on it, prohibits a scaffold from being erected beyond a certain height relative to the size of its base, and requires that the wheels of a scaffold have working locking mechanisms so that the scaffold can be locked in place.
In the event of an accident that does not comply with the rules governing scaffolding or lack of personal protective equipment, the injured worker can establish a claim to obtain fair compensation for his or her injuries.
If you or someone you know has been injured on a construction site call Gorayeb & Associates at 646-846-9432 for a free consultation.