According to New York’s workplace safety laws, construction site
owners and contractors are obligated to abide by various safety regulations to avoid
construction accidents and injuries. Keep in mind, these laws do not limit the injured worker
to recovering only workers’ compensation benefits.
The following are the state provisions related to construction site accidents:
New York Labor Law § 200 – Owners and contractors have a duty to protect the health and safety
of “all persons employed therein.” In order for an owner or
contractor to be sued under this law, the injury must be caused by an
accident or incident which happened at the work site. Additionally, the
injured party must show that the owner or contractor controlled that area
or had noticed the defective and potentially hazardous condition.
New York Labor Law § 240 (1) and 241-A – Owners, contractors or their agents must provide safety devices
to protect construction workers from the dangers associated with working
at great heights or around elevator shafts or stairwells. If an accident
and/or injury occurs, the owner or contractor can be held accountable
regardless of whether they had control or supervision of the site.
New York Labor Law § 241 (6) – Owners, contractors, and their agents are obligated to provide
a safe and reasonable working environment to all persons who are legally
present on the property. Similar to a § 240 (1) claim, an owner or
contractor cannot avoid liability for non-compliance with standards by
arguing that the work was done by a subcontractor.
So if an owner hires a general contractor, who then hires multiple subcontractors
to perform and supervise the work, the owner and general contractor can
still be held liable if a worker is injured because one of the subcontractors
did not comply with safety laws. On the other hand, if a worker is injured
by defective machinery, the injured worker can recover workers’
compensation benefits and hold the project owner liable for the full amount
of their losses.
For more information,
request a free consultation with our New York City personal injury attorneys at
Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP today.