Labor Law 240 &241 — The Scaffold Law

Construction accidents are the most prevalent type of work related accident. Workers in the construction industry are more at risk for injury than employees in any other field. These are the facts according to OSHA and the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Protection in New York Construction Accidents Under the Scaffold Law

Labor Law 240 & 241, otherwise known as the New York Scaffold Law, offers special protection for construction workers. No other state in the nation takes construction accidents as seriously or has laws that compare with New York’s.

The degree of protection extended to construction workers enables them to hold contractors, building owners or their agents accountable for the protection of the worker. The exception is owners of one and two story family dwellings who contract for but do not control the work.

What Types of Construction Work Does the Scaffold Law Apply to?

The Scaffold law applies to the following types of work:

  • Erection
  • Demolition
  • Repair
  • Alteration
  • Painting
  • Cleaning
  • Pointing of a building or structure

Equipment that the contractors, owners and their agents must provide or erect for construction workers include:

  • Scaffolding
  • Hoists
  • Stays
  • Ladders
  • Slings
  • Hangers
  • Blocks
  • Pulleys
  • Braces
  • Irons
  • Ropes
  • Other device

When Scaffolding or Staging Is More than 20 Feet from the Ground/Floor

For 20 feet or greater heights, safety rules apply. There must be a safety rail that is attached, bolted, braced or otherwise secured that will prevent the scaffold from swaying from the building or structure. The scaffolding also must be able to bear four times the maximum weight required when it is being used.

What Should You Do if Injured in a Construction Accident?

The odds for recovering compensation for serious injuries are good if you work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. You can discuss your accident and your construction accident lawyer will explain your rights to recover compensation for damages.