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What is New York Labor Law Section 240?

The construction industry is very dangerous and thousands of Americans who work on construction sites suffer injuries each and every year. There are multiple job hazards present for construction workers, so it should come as no surprise that this number is so high.

Many OSHA regulations relate to scaffolding, as OSHA estimates that well over 50% of construction employees work frequently on scaffolds. New York, however, has its own law that goes above and beyond OSHA’s requirements. According to FindLaw, legal experts often deem New York Labor Law Section 240 the “scaffold law.”

What is New York Labor Law Section 240?

New York Labor Law Section 240 states that contractors or work site owners that do not provide adequate safety regulations and devices to protect workers from falling off scaffolds (or falling objects) face absolute liability in the case a worker suffers an injury.

Specifically, under this law an injured worker does not actually need to be an employee of the company in order for the company to have liability for the worker’s injuries. Additionally, liability under this law, in many cases, extends to general contractors and property owners, not just construction companies.

What do opponents of this law say?

Opponents of New York Labor Law Section 240 say that it harms New York’s construction companies because it increases the costs of insurance. Additionally, many find fault in the fact that it is possible for a construction company to have liability for worker injuries even if the worker’s negligence or lack of care contributed to the situation. If you have suffered injury on a New York scaffold, New York Labor Law Section 240 may apply to your situation.

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