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At Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers, we have represented construction workers in every trade and from every union for over 30 years. We know that safety on the jobsite is essential in preventing accidents. Sadly, each year thousands of construction workers are injured and killed because of carelessness and the failure to follow safety rules and regulations such as the New York State Labor Law, Industrial Code and OSHA. When an accident occurs, responsibility may rest with the owners, contractors, sub-contractors, architects, and equipment manufacturers. These parties are responsible for providing a reasonably safe jobsite. Following a construction site injury, an investigation should be immediately done to identify the responsible parties.

Workers’ Compensation may be available to the injured worker to provide payment for a percentage of the worker’s lost income and medical expenses related to the injury sustained on the job. However, Workers’ Compensation benefits are limited and may be insufficient for a seriously injured worker with a long term injury or disability. Workers compensation is often not the only claim an injured construction worker will have, A claim for injuries for violation of the Labor Law must be investigated. It is important to know that an injured worker can have a workers compensation case and a case for violation of the Labor Law. The experienced Construction accident lawyers at Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers can help you.

A thorough investigation of a workplace accident is important in order to determine if there are third parties responsible for the accident. For example, the manufacturers of unsafe equipment such as scaffolds, power tools, hoists, lifts, cranes, and backhoes can be liable when their products malfunction. Laws may also impose liability on owners and contractors when an accident occurs.

A person does not have to be employed at the job site in order to bring a claim against a responsible party. For example, pedestrians injured walking next to a construction site, those who are lawfully present at a site and those visiting a site may be covered under the law.

There are many laws regarding the workplace and the rights of a person injured in a workplace accident. Often responsible parties may not be obvious, and an investigation will be required. If you have been injured in a construction or workplace accident, it is best to consult an attorney as soon as possible.

New York’s Scaffold Law

The Scaffold Law is a New York State law that holds employers and property owners fully and absolutely liable when an employee becomes injured due to a gravity-related accident while working without proper safety equipment. The accident can involve the worker falling from a scaffold or ladder or the worker being struck by a falling object. New York State Labor Law § 240/241.

Scaffolding and ladders are critical components of many construction sites. Many different workers scale scaffolds and ladders every day as part of their work, with some of the most common including:

  • Carpenters
  • Masons
  • Welders
  • Electricians
  • Maintenance workers
  • Painters
  • Window washers
  • Steeplejacks
  • Iron Workers
  • Engineers
  • Any worker at the job site

The strict liability for safe scaffolding creates a “non-delegable” duty for owners and contractors. In other words, these parties cannot delegate responsibility to someone they hire, such as a sub-contractor, and escape responsibility for a workplace injury.

Section 240 is very clear it only covers specific types of construction work. This includes:

  • Alterations
  • Building erection
  • Demolition work
  • Cleaning
  • Painting
  • Repairs
  • Pointing a building
  • Erections of safety measures including blocks, braces, hoists, ladders, pulleys, or related types of equipment

The law is also very explicit in that it relates only to construction and excludes activities related to maintenance, manufacturing, or decorative work on a structure.

New York Labor Law 200

Labor Law §200 is another statute designed to protect those at construction sites. It imposes a general duty to protect the health and safety of employees. It provides that all places shall be constructed, equipped, arranged, operated, and conducted 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 areas shall be placed, operated, guarded, and lighted to provide reasonable and adequate protection to all such persons.

New York Labor Law 200 provides a job site must be safe for both workers and any visitors to the job site. It is structured to ensure construction company owners and contractors take reasonable steps to give workers a safe working environment. Under Labor Law 200, it is the duty of owners and contractors to keep the job site free from unsafe conditions and make sure the means and methods of the work are safe. Section 200 also protects visitors and indicates the job site must have adequate lighting, safety rails and be free from slipping and tripping hazards.

New York Labor Law 241

Section 241 refers explicitly to construction situations involving demolition, excavation, and safety equipment. Under this section of New York State Labor Law, owners and contractors are responsible for violations of the Industrial Code of New York, which sets standards for workplace safety. Among other things, Section 241 directly addresses the safety of passageways, stairs, hoistways, and elevators. Once there is a violation of the Industrial Code, Labor Law 241(6) imposes liability on owners and general contractors. It is another provision to protect the safety of construction workers.

OSHA Violations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues safety regulations for the workplace, including construction sites. The violation of an OSHA regulation can also impose responsibility on contractors and owners for their negligence in violating the rules. OSHA will investigate job site injuries and issue Citations for each violation of OSHA rules. These violations can form the basis of a successful case for an injured worker.

If you or someone you know was injured in a construction accident, call Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. We will obtain justice for your injuries.

A construction accident can be emotionally and physically devastating. Michael J. Asta, Esq. is one of New York’s leading accident attorneys with over 500 Million Dollars recovered for clients and over 30 years fighting for New Yorkers like you. You can be confident that the legal team at Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers is fully committed to winning the best possible results for our personal injury clients and their families. If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, call Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers at (212) 244-6555 or complete the contact form here on our website so we can help you. The consultation is free, and we work on a contingency basis meaning there is no fee until we obtain compensation on your behalf, guaranteeing you’ll never come out of pocket.

Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers, Where Quality Representation Doesn’t Cost, It Pays.


Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA Technical Links Pages

AFL-CIO Safety and Health on the Job

The Center to Protect Workers’ Rights

Construction Safety Council

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: Construction Topics

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