The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) consistently ranks falls as the most common, and most serious, construction site accidents. More than any other falls, those off ladders can have devastating consequences. In 2012 alone, 279 American construction workers lost their lives in fatal falls. As you would expect, construction falls from scaffolding are particularly damaging. But falls from all manner of ladders can leave New York City’s construction workers injured, missing work, and with few options.
NYC Construction Fall Accident Lawyers
For decades, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Banville Law have protected New York City’s injured construction workers. After a serious fall, from a ladder, scaffolding, or another piece of equipment that allows access to high positions, NYC’s workers deserve thorough, aggressive legal counsel. Our construction accident attorneys are prepared to seek maximum compensation – money for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
New York City Law For Construction Workers
New York City recognizes the dangers that construction workers face on a daily basis. In line with OSHA’s findings, NYC has instituted a separate regulation protecting workers who use ladders and scaffolding. As those most at risk, workers who must climb high on buildings require separate protections.
When any building or structure is built or modified, New York State’s Statute Section 240 (“the Scaffold Law”) applies to “all contractors and owners and their agents” to erect:
These devices are meant to allow construction workers access to all parts of a building, not just the ground floor. But this equipment must be maintained safely, providing ample precautions against falls from scaffolding or ladders. In fact, even if all the necessary safety precautions are taken, your employer can still be held negligent for your construction site fall accident because Section 240 and 241 of the Labor Laws have been interpreted by the New York Courts as a strict liability law.
Legal Construction Fall Safety Precautions
The New York City Scaffold Law’s definition of “strict liability” means that employers can be held negligent for your construction fall no matter the cause. In addition, Section 240 outlines a number of safety precautions that must be taken to protect those working at heights.
- “Scaffolding or staging more than twenty feet from the ground or floor, swung or suspended from an overhead support or erected with stationary supports shall have a safety rail of suitable material properly attached, bolted, braced or otherwise secured”
- “All scaffolding shall be so constructed as to bear four times the maximum weight required”
Did you fall from a scaffold that had no railing? Was a scaffold unable to support your weight? You were most likely working in unsafe conditions and someone should be held responsible for your injuries.
Common Causes Of Ladder Falls
After years of research, OSHA has released an account of the most common causes of falls on construction sites in New York City:
- Unsafe Portable Ladders – portable ladders must be positioned safely on an even surface. Falls from ladders can result in everything from a light sprain to death.
- Uncapped Rebars – the ends of steel rebars, so common on New York City’s construction sites, must be capped. In some tragic construction accidents, workers have fallen and been impaled such as the accident which occurred in Manhattan in January 2016. A construction worker fell and was impaled on 3 separate pieces of uncapped rebar.
- Holes In Floors & Walls – before buildings near completion, most walls and floors will be little more than a network of boards. Many construction workers fall through holes in the floor, seriously injuring themselves. Construction sites must use guardrails and safety nets to protect the lives of workers.
Compensation May Be Possible
Injured in a fall accident on a construction site in New York City? The state has put legal protections in place to protect you! Our lawyers may be able to help you file a personal injury lawsuit and secure compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and more.