A construction worker fell to his death from scaffolding while working
at the Dream Hotel in midtown New York City last week. The city Department
of Buildings has shut down the site, naming possible safety failures on
the part of the contractor as a possible contributor of the accident.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (hereinafter “OSHA”) has also started an investigation.
Experienced New York City construction accident attorneys of Mainetti,
Mainetti, and O’Connor know that property owners, possessors, contractors, and subcontractors
must follow certain guidelines when employing the use of scaffolding,
ladders and the like. Not only will statutes dictate requirements, but
so will regulations, and standards within the construction industry itself.
New York Labor Law Section 240, titled “scaffolding and other devices for use of employees”,
states that owners, contractors, and agents thereof who erects or has
erected scaffolds, ladders, pulleys, hoists, etc., or any like device
must be “placed and operated to provide protection to a person .
. . employed.”
Section 241(6) of the same law states:
“All areas in which construction, excavation or demolition work is
being performed shall be so constructed, shored, equipped, guarded, arranged,
operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection
and safety to the persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such
Used individually or in concert,
experienced construction accident attorneys will know that a violation of these statutes will give rise to negligence
per se. This means that simply violating the statute is an act of negligence,
negating the need to prove negligence at trial. However, it is also important
to know that Labor Law Section 241 is a strict liability statute, meaning,
just the mere occurrence of the injury results in liability. For more
information on New York’s scaffolding law and what you need to know,
visit our previous blog post here.
Even though we mention these statutes, they don’t need to be violated
in order for an injured scaffolding worker to commence a successful civil
action. That is because negligence arises in many ways; a highly skilled
accident attorney will investigate the facts of a case and find the point
where negligence arose. Additionally, even if the worker is partially
at fault, a suit may be commenced because these are strict liability statutes.
Meaning, as long as the construction worker is not the sole proximate
cause of his injury, the defendant will be automatically liable for any
injuries or death that occurs.
As mentioned above, many parties may be liable for the accident, not just
the employer who employed the laborer. The owner of the property may be
accountable, the company that constructed the scaffolding can be liable,
the contractor overseeing the job, and the subcontractor who performs
the actual work on the scaffolding may all be held liable for the laborers
injuries. The first part of successful recovery, therefore, may be said
to involve naming the property parties as defendants in the case.
Are you interested in learning more about scaffolding fall accidents? Find
out more in
our latest article to learn more about your rights here.
Our scaffolding fall accident attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious personal injury accidents,
particularly throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie,
and Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.