New York has several laws that are meant to protect construction workers from unsafe conditions. These are found in the state’s labor laws, specifically Sections 200, 240 and 241. Each of these sections sets clear standards for what construction employees should expect when they are at work.
Section 200 provides general protections for the construction industry. The section specifically covers the equipment that is used on the site. Construction companies are supposed to ensure that equipment and the construction site as a whole are safe and in good condition for the workers.
Section 240 is a bit more specific. This one covers scaffolding and other equipment that helps to lift workers off the ground. It places strict liability on the construction companies when a worker is injured in a fall. This means that just about any fall that isn’t from ground-height would be covered under it.
Section 241 covers many other hazards that workers face. Some points include drowning, tripping, slipping, air contamination and chemical hazards. Construction companies have to set up, maintain and handle work zones and demolitions in a specific manner to keep in compliance with this section.
None of these sections add any burden to the workers, so don’t let your employer place the duty on you. If you are injured in a construction accident, you can take action that includes filing for workers’ compensation benefits. You may also be entitled to bring what is known as a third-party lawsuit where you get your worker’s compensation benefits from your employer, who you may not sue, but may also bring a lawsuit against the owner of the property or any of the general contractors or sub-contractors that may have held responsibility for causing your injury.
Source: Crystal & Company, “New York Labor Law 200, 240, and 241," accessed April 26, 2018