When you are injured while engaged in certain types of work, the array of legal bases upon which you can pursue compensation in New York may vary. For some tasks, a workplace injury may open the door to seek an award of damages under one or both of two New York Labor Law statutes: Sections 240(1) and 241(6). These laws are very important for protecting workers who suffer construction accidents due to falls, falling objects or a failure to follow the state’s safety regulations. Even if you weren’t a “hard hat” moving 1,000-pound steel I-beams, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your work isn’t covered by these laws. And, even if you were the only witness to your accident, that also doesn’t mean you cannot achieve a successful result. To find out more about your options for seeking compensation, reach out to an experienced New York construction injury attorney.
Here’s an example from Manhattan that was decided by the Appellate Division last summer. B.C. was a man whose work duties included maintenance of the sprinklers of a building in Chelsea. One day, while working on the sprinklers, B.C. fell off a six-foot A-frame ladder, suffering substantial injuries in the fall. B.C. asserted that he was tightening a bolt when the ladder shifted, and that was what caused his fall.
B.C. sued the building’s owner under Section 240(1). This is a law that says that workers are entitled to adequate safeguards to protect them from falls and from being struck by falling objects. (It’s also sometimes called the “Scaffold Law.”) The building owner, as a key part of its defense, tried to persuade the court that the work that B.C. was doing wasn’t covered by the statute. The law says that it covers erection, demolition, repairs, alterations, painting and cleaning of a building or structure.