Working on a construction site in Brooklyn, or any other part of New York, means that you either have to work on or around scaffolding. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that not only do the majority of construction workers have to use scaffolding on a regular basis, but the use leads to some of the most common accidents and injuries on job sites.
When scaffolding or other lifting devices are defective, or workers do not assemble them properly, collapses and falls are likely to occur. Furthermore, if an employer does not provide proper protective gear to the men and women working on and around scaffolding, then risk of injury increases significantly.
OSHA provides certain requirements that apply to the design and construction of scaffolds. For example, scaffolding has to meet rating capacities and manufacturers also have to design them to follow particular construction methods. In general, all scaffolding and its components have to be able to not only support its own weight, but also hold, at the minimum, four times the intended load without collapsing. In addition, your boss should have a knowledgeable person conduct an inspection of all scaffolds prior to the start of each shift.
New York implemented a law to provide protection to construction workers that work with scaffolding. The Scaffold Law also applies to other lift devices and machinery and puts complete liability on both contractors and owners that fail to uphold safety regulations.
The absolute liability that the Scaffold Law refers to is that a construction site owner can be liable for the injuries suffered by a worker employed by a contractor. However, like many other injury cases, liability also depends on the particular circumstances of each situation.
In general, construction sites can be extremely dangerous places to work. In addition to unsafe scaffolding, you can also face hazards from heavy machinery and equipment, ladder use, exposed electrical wiring, uncovered holes, and numerous other sources. The law provides certain protections for construction workers, but not every employer follows the guidelines. If you have suffered a construction site injury, you might be able to file a claim for your medical expenses, lost wages and other damages you may have experienced.