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Protection under the New York state labor law

As a construction worker you put yourself at risk of injury every day at work. Hundreds of construction workers are injured each year in New York, like the 435 injured or killed in 2015.

As this number could exponentially grow, New York has specific labor laws that are an effort to prevent construction accidents. Under the state labor law, there are three sections that give construction workers the right to work in safe conditions with proper equipment.

Section 200

This section of the law requires owners and contractors to keep workplaces safe. The places where this law applies shall “be constructed, equipped, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection” to those employed or visiting individuals. If machinery at your site is found to not be to standard, a notice may be attached to that equipment to bring the danger to workers’ attention. This notice may forbid the use of the machinery in question until the problem is fixed.

Section 240

Section 240 requires a bolted safety rail for scaffolding more than 20 feet from the ground. The safety rail must be the width of the scaffold’s entirety that can handle four times the maximum weight of people and items on it. If an injury by falling occurs, you may sue general contractors along with property owners when work height protection is not provided. Though proper scaffolding may have been provided, contractors can still be held accountable if workers were not trained or using protective equipment.

Section 241

Under this section of the labor law, employees are protected by a provision that holds owners or contractors responsible for failure of supplying the appropriate safety devices at a worksite. When elevator shafts and such are at the worksite, there should be a no less than two-inch plank above and below workers.

If injured at a construction site in New York, you may consider the worker’s compensation you are entitled to in terms of the labor law.

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