Failure To Ensure Safety Measures

New York City Lawyers Skilled in Construction Accident Cases

Workplace safety rules are supposed to be followed to avoid serious injuries or death. Unfortunately, there are many employers that ignore the safety rules promulgated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. For example, some contractors do not enforce rules requiring the use of ear protection, goggles, hard hats, and safety nets under scaffolds. Not all employers provide appropriate cave-in protection for people working in trenches, or safety masks for workers exposed to chemicals on the job. If you are injured due to an employer's failure to ensure safety measures, you should consult the experienced New York City construction accident attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP.

A Failure to Ensure Safety Measures Can Cause Serious Harm

Employees who are injured on the job may be limited to the remedies provided by workers' compensation. For example, if they suffer hearing damage on the job due to the sound of drilling, they may need to claim workers' compensation benefits. However, if you are injured because of your employer's failure to ensure safety measures or because of another construction site employer's failure, you may have options other than workers' compensation.

In most cases, OSHA provides the safety rules that must be followed by private employers. Employers are supposed to follow OSHA rules for each employee of their business, although not independent contractors. OSHA requires employers that are covered to keep the workplace free of dangers of which they know or should know, as well as those that are likely to cause serious injuries. Workplace hazards may include unsafe property conditions as well as environmental hazards, such as toxic fumes. Employers are also supposed to provide safe equipment and tools. They should appropriately train and supervise their employees. New York has its own workplace safety rules that apply to state and local government employees.

Employers are supposed to meet certain reporting and record-keeping requirements, and they need to report fatal accidents to OSHA within eight hours of their happening. If you believe that your working conditions are unsafe, you can file a complaint with OSHA, and your employer is not permitted to retaliate against you for doing so. Workers are allowed to refuse to work if they face imminent danger in the workplace, and employers are not supposed to retaliate against them for refusing.

General contractors and property owners on many projects can be held liable for fall-related accidents under the Scaffold Law, even if the person hurt is an employee who would ordinarily be limited to workers’ compensation. Under the Scaffold Law (New York Labor Law section 240), an attorney can help workers try to hold a building owner, project manager, project owner, or general contractor liable when they are injured in high falls or after being hit by a falling object. For example, if your arm is crushed by a falling object in a crane accident after the general contractor failed to maintain the crane properly, you may be able to file a lawsuit for damages. Comparative fault principles do not apply to section 240 claims.

Under New York Labor Law section 241, meanwhile, all construction employers are supposed to take certain safety actions on a job site, including providing specific safety equipment. This law provides guidelines on how to construct, equip, guard, and arrange a construction site to be safe, and it applies to protect all construction workers, rather than just workers at risk from gravity-related accidents. If your employer fails to ensure the requisite safety measures, and you are injured as a result, you may be able to recover your damages. However, your damages can be reduced by your own comparative negligence for the accident.

Contact a Knowledgeable New York City Lawyer Following a Workplace Accident

After a construction accident arising out of a contractor's failure to ensure safety measures in New York City, you and others may suffer catastrophic injuries or even death. Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP provides aggressive legal representation in construction accident lawsuits. Our attorneys represent people in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Contact us at 718-896-2700 or via our online form.

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