What happens when you are hurt by scaffolding?
With busy work conditions often filled with heavy machinery, power tools, toxic substances, and more, construction sites are high risk work environments that pose a variety of dangers to both workers and pedestrians.
Even among these dangerous conditions, scaffolding accidents stand out for their danger due to the high number of injuries and deaths related to their use, nearly almost all of which are entirely preventable.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falling from heights is the leading cause of injury and death among construction sites, accounting for an average of 35% of all on-the-job deaths of construction workers each year (302 deaths nationwide in 2013). And according to OSHA, 60 deaths and more than 4,500 worker injuries are related directly to scaffold accidents.
Construction workers in New York City are frequently exposed to scaffolding and extreme heights due to the city’s density of high rise office buildings and residences.
These accidents often disproportionately impact immigrants in New York City who are more likely to work for non-union jobs. In 2015, of the 25 construction workers who died on the job in New York City, 18 were foreign born, the majority of which immigrated from Latin America.
New York State Scaffold Law
New York construction workers are protected by the Scaffold Law (NYS Labor Law sections 240 and 241) that has been in place since 1885 in order to protect New York workers and prevent elevation-related injuries.
The Scaffold Law holds contractors and property owners 100% liable for fall-related injuries in construction, demolition, and repair work.
The New York Court of Appeals has repeatedly upheld the fact that it is a strict liability, meaning that if contractors or owners do not provide “proper protection” and a worker is injured, then the worker cannot be blamed and the contractors and owners can be held responsible.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), nearly 3 out of 4 workers injured in scaffold-related accidents attributed it to faulty planking or supports, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object.
Scaffold accidents often result in particularly grievous injuries that may include broken bones, fractures, paralysis, or even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. After overcoming the physical injuries and the long recovery process, many workers face difficulties returning to work due to a fear of falling.
Seeking Legal Help
Speaking with one of our New York scaffolding accident attorneys at Greenberg & Stein is well within your legal rights and is the most prudent course of action to ensure the law works on your behalf. If you are hospital-bound thanks to your scaffold injuries, we can arrange a free legal consultation wherever you are in the New York area.
After going over the details of your case, we will walk you through the process, step-by-step to ensure your rights are protected by the New York State Scaffold Law while fighting for the compensation you deserve.
You will be able to rest easy knowing that our experienced scaffolding accident attorneys are fighting on your behalf, so you can focus on the physical, mental, and emotional recovery ahead.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a scaffolding or elevation-related accident, speak to one of our scaffolding accident attorneys here at Greenberg & Stein right away. Contact our Manhattan scaffolding accident lawyers at 888-411-3966 for a free legal consultation.