New York Labor Code 241: The Basics
While many construction workers are well-familiar with New York’s Scaffolding Law, it is important to remember that there is actually another Labor Law in New York that also helps protect the safety of those working on construction sites.
Otherwise known as New York Labor Code Section 241, this particular law is designed to provide additional safety protections to all construction workers, including those on the ground — as opposed to just those working at heights, which is the focus of the New York’s Scaffolding Law. Essentially, Section 241 is an all-encompassing safety law for each and every construction worker.
So What Does NY Labor Code Section 241 Say?
While Section 241 contains several provisions, one of the most important provision states that when general contractors and property owners are involved in construction, demolition or excavation, they are required to ensure that:
All areas of work are properly “constructed, shored, equipped, guarded, arranged, operated and conducted” so as to provide workers with “reasonable and adequate protection and safety.”
In the most basic terms, this provision means that some contractors and/or property owners must provide the necessary safety equipment to keep the workers safe. However, not only does this law make general contractors and property owners responsible for the safety of the workers, but it also provides legal recourse for construction workers who are injured when contractors and property owners fail to follow the requirements of the law.
Indeed, New York courts have expressly stated that the purpose of this law is to give those who work in the dangerous industries of construction, demolition and excavation, additional protections besides workers’ comp.
However, it is important to mention that Section 241 does not apply to property owners of one- and two-family dwellings, who contract for construction and do not actually control the work.
So What Is My Next Step?
Whether you have been injured while working on the ground, high atop scaffolding or anywhere in between, you need to speak with an experienced construction injury attorney as soon as possible.
At Edelman & Edelman, P.C., our lawyers have a proven track record of successfully helping construction workers injured in a wide range of accidents. In fact, with nearly 40 years of experience, attorney Martin Edelman is recognized as one of the preeminent construction accident attorneys in New York.