Who is Liable Under New York Labor Law 240 & 241?

According to the New York City Buildings Department, approximately 250 construction workers are injured annually while on the job, and another 5 to 20 are involved in fatal accidents. It is for this reason that lawmakers in the state have enacted a number of labor laws to protect workers who construct, demolish, excavate, renovate and/or repair buildings. These laws not only aim to reduce the number of serious construction accidents, but intend to provide injured workers with the level of compensation that they deserve. New York Labor Law Section 240, which is also known as the "Scaffolding Law," was designed to protect workers from falls and/or injuries from falling objects. Instead of making it the workers' responsibility to maintain a safe environment, this law states that construction companies, property owners and contractors will be liable for keeping their employees reasonably safe—which starts by adhering to all applicable safety regulations.

New York Labor Law Section 241, while similar to Section 240, focuses on the safety of a construction site at ground-level. Also known as the "Safe Place to Work Law," this section outlines specific regulations about how the areas of a construction site should be arranged, operated and conducted. In doing so, it aims to prevent slip and fall and/or trip and fall accidents, chemical hazards, air contamination and more—each of which can pose a serious threat to workers. Should a supervisory authority negligently or intentionally fail to abide by these regulations, they could be held accountable. These labor laws do not defer to negligence, but rather impose absolute liability on the construction companies, property owners and/or contractors who are responsible for maintaining a safe work environment. This means that it would not matter whether or not the injured worker had also acted negligently, unless their actions were the sole cause of their injury.

If you believe that your employer had violated New York Labor Law Section 240 or 241 at the time that you were injured, it is imperative that you discuss your case with a New York construction accident lawyer from Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP as soon as possible. We will be able to determine whether or not these laws would apply to your case and help you to decide on a practical course of action—whether it includes filing a workers' compensation claim or pursuing damages from your employer. All you have to do is contact our firm today to get started. When you call at (888) 918-9481, your initial consultation is free. If you would prefer to reach us online, however, you can also fill out the complimentary case evaluation form that is conveniently located on our website. Either way you choose to get in touch, we just encourage you to do so quickly.