NYC Scaffolding Accident Lawyers

Scaffolding Accident Lawyers In New York City

Construction is undeniably one of the most perilous professions, as any seasoned scaffolding accident attorney in NYC can attest. Each year, countless incidents involving scaffolding transpire within the city, leading to severe injuries or even fatalities. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately 65% of all construction workers rely on scaffolds for their job.

Shockingly, slipping, the failure of support or planking, and being struck by falling objects account for 72% of injuries sustained in these accidents. While these statistics are distressing, there is a glimmer of hope—adhering to OSHA standards can significantly reduce these mishaps. Regrettably, these standards are frequently disregarded, resulting in countless innocent workers falling victim to injuries year after year. If you’ve been injured, contact our NYC scaffolding accident lawyers at Rosenberg & Rodriguez right away to learn more about how we can help.

Common Causes Of Scaffolding Accidents In NYC

According to a study conducted by The Bureau of Labor and Statistics, a staggering 72% of workers injured in scaffold accidents reported that the planking or support gave way, or that they were struck by a falling object. This underscores the critical importance of a thorough investigation by your attorney, particularly in the construction industry where a significant portion of the workforce operates on scaffolding. There are several common factors that can contribute to these types of accidents, including:

Defective Scaffolding

Insufficient guardrails or improper installation are often cited as the main causes of falls from scaffolding. When work heights reach 10′ or more, fall protection is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Defective equipment is also a common factor in many scaffolding accidents. This could be due to equipment reaching the end of its useful life or slippery and hazardous footing surfaces. Under such conditions, the likelihood of accidents increases significantly.

Design flaws can contribute to these defects in some cases, while manufacturing errors can result in structurally unsafe platforms in others. Additionally, scaffolding failures can occur when construction lacks necessary bracing, leading to collapses. By improving word choice, structure, readability, and eloquence, we can enhance the quality of the writing while preserving the original meaning.

Poor Maintenance

Construction companies cannot simply erect scaffolding and neglect its upkeep. Just like any heavily used construction equipment, proper maintenance is crucial to ensure its safe and efficient operation. For instance, planks often require replacement, and joints may need occasional tightening. By diligently tending to these tasks, companies can ensure the scaffolding remains in optimal working condition.

Inadequate Training

Even when the scaffolding equipment is structurally sound, accidents can still happen. Inadequate training is often the main cause of these incidents. Working on scaffolds is inherently dangerous, as employees need to perform their tasks while managing risks. If an employer fails to provide proper training and an accident occurs, they may be held responsible for any resulting injuries.

Lack of Safety Equipment

Ensuring workplace safety extends beyond scaffolding alone. It is imperative to equip workers with additional safety tools to prevent accidents. For example, the lack of appropriate fall protection equipment can result in devastating outcomes. Let us prioritize the implementation of comprehensive safety measures to establish a secure work environment.

Eligibility requirements for N.Y. Labor Law 240

According to the New York Labor Law 240, all contractors, owners, and their agents are required to provide appropriate safety measures for workers involved in activities such as building erection, demolition, repair, alteration, painting, cleaning, or pointing. This includes the provision of scaffolding, hoists, ladders, slings, and other necessary devices to ensure the safety of those employed in such tasks. However, it’s important to note that owners of one and two-family dwellings who contract for the work but do not directly control it are exempt from this requirement. In order to pursue a scaffolding lawsuit under Labor Law 240, the injured worker must have been engaged in one of these specified duties at the time of the accident:

  • Building
  • Repairing
  • Demolition
  • Painting
  • Cleaning
  • Erection of braces, hoists, blocks, ladders, irons, pulleys, stays, ropes, or other kinds of equipment
  • Altering

Eye-Opening Construction Accident Statistics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • There were 91 fatal occupational injuries in New York City in 2019
  • There were 24 occupational fatalities among construction workers in New York City in 2019, 23 occupational fatalities caused by a fall to a lower level, and eight occupational fatalities caused by being struck by a falling object or equipment other than a powered vehicle
  • Nationwide in 2019, there were 1,066 fatal occupational injuries in the construction industry, an increase of 6 percent and the highest total since 2007
  • In 2019 nationwide, 37 occupational fatalities resulted from a fall from a collapsing structure or equipment
  • There were 241 occupational fatalities nationwide in 2019 that involved a worker being struck by a falling object or equipment

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does New York Protect Construction Workers?

Although the statistics regarding scaffold collapse fatalities and injuries are disheartening, New York’s Scaffolding Law (LAB § 240) provides enhanced protection for construction workers and independent contractors who suffer on-the-job injuries. Notably, New York is the sole state that enforces strict liability, also referred to as “absolute liability,” for fall accidents in construction, repair, or demolition activities.

The term “absolute liability” signifies that the responsibility for any elevation-related injury sustained on the job lies entirely with the construction site owner, contractor, or private builder. This type of case is classified as a third-party claim, extending beyond the scope of workers’ compensation benefits. Strict liability can only be mitigated if the defendant can demonstrate that the scaffold provided adequate protection and that the worker was solely responsible for the accident.

Will My Worker’s Compensation Claim Be Affected?

If you have been injured in a fall accident related to construction, it is crucial to seek legal guidance promptly. At Rosenberg & Rodriguez, we have a deep understanding of Labor Laws 240/241 and will vigorously pursue the maximum compensation for your lost wages, ongoing medical expenses, pain, and suffering.

Our highly experienced scaffolding accident lawyers in New York City have decades of experience in advocating for clients involved in complex scaffolding collapse cases. Many victims may hesitate to pursue litigation, fearing it could negatively impact their worker’s compensation claim. However, in reality, our clients may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against negligent general contractors, sub-contractors, construction site owners, or other responsible parties, either in addition to or instead of a worker’s compensation claim. At Rosenberg & Rodriguez, our skilled personal injury attorneys provide expert guidance on which claims to pursue to maximize your financial recovery.

Contact Our NYC Scaffolding Accident Lawyers Now

We are dedicated to helping construction workers seek justice for the financial, physical, and emotional toll caused by scaffolding injuries. Our team conducts thorough investigations to gather compelling evidence. With our deep understanding of state labor laws, we provide our clients with a competitive advantage in securing fair settlements. For decades, our NYC scaffolding accident lawyers have tirelessly advocated for injured construction workers in New York City. If you have been injured in a scaffolding accident, don’t hesitate to contact Rosenberg & Rodriguez for a free consultation, available 24/7.