Personal Injury: Construction Job Site Accident Laws
LABOR LAW 240-241 IS OFTEN MISREPRESENTED BY OPPONENTS OF THE STATUTE, SAYS TOP NEW YORK CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT LAWYER
Labor laws in New York State, in particular sections 240 and 241, commonly referred to as the "Safe Place to Work Law," or the "Scaffolding Law," are under constant assault by contractors and developers to weaken them further or repeal them altogether. Therefore, it's important to study personal injury construction job site accidents laws, in order to know your rights.
Opponents of sections 240 and 241 claim that these statutes are unfair because, they claim, it holds the owner, contractor, or developer liable if a worker falls from any height, regardless of who is at fault. Opponents claim the law deprives them of their right to defend themselves against workers who blame the "boss" for their construction injury.
"The truth of the matter of quite the opposite," Howard Raphaelson, partner in the New York construction accident law firm of Raphaelson & Levine, said. "There has been significant pressure on the state legislature to repeal the "absolute liability" section of Labor Law 240. The way the law actually reads makes it clear that an owner, or contractor, can only be held liable when an accident is caused by a failure to provide workers with proper safety equipment, not when the worker's own action was the sole cause of the injury."
Debates over the status of Labor Law 240 arise repeatedly, especially when a construction worker is injured as a result of a fall.
"There is no doubt," Raphaelson said, "that construction sites are dangerous places. Yes, of course, state and local governments attempt to regulate construction sites. But when a worker is forced to choose between getting the job done despite the presence of unsafe conditions, or refusing to work and getting fired, regulations get ignored."
"With proper safety equipment," he added, "workers shouldn't fall from heights and injure themselves, or worse."
Raphaelson explained that if the necessary labor laws – like sections 240 and 241 — were not in place to protect workers, when injuries inevitably happen, like workers would probably not get the help they need from the courts to pay their bills or to care for their families, particularly in situations where severe injuries prevent workers from returning to the job for a long time, if at all."
For more information about Labor Law 240 & 241, and for more information about the New York construction accidents lawyers at Raphaelson & Levine, visit: raphaelsonlevinelaw.com.