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Are Construction Trade Workers Protected Under NY State “Safe Place to Work Laws?”

Are Construction Trade Workers Protected Under NY State

When we refer to construction workers, we aren’t just talking about the people who build buildings. The construction trades encompass a wide variety of professions, from carpenters and plumbers to painters, masons, steel workers, and electricians. Because these jobs are among the most dangerous you can have, New York state protects workers under what are casually referred to as “safe place to work” laws.

If you are a construction trade worker who is injured on the job, these laws may allow you to not only bring a worker’s compensation claim, but also a lawsuit against your employer. I’ll tell you more about how this works below. If you’re in the construction trades and have been injured, our seasoned New York construction attorneys at Buttafuoco & Associates may be able to help. Don’t hesitate to get in touch for a free consultation.

What are Safe Place to Work Laws?

Safe Place to Work laws, also known as labor laws, are in place to hold building owners and general contractors liable for certain injuries that construction trade workers sustain on the job site. Not only can the worker file a worker’s compensation lawsuit, but they can also sue the contractor or owner of the building or structure where they were working if that party demonstrated negligence.

Labor law cases tend to turn out positively for construction workers, but it’s important to understand that specific criteria must be met in order to have a case. First, the work being performed by the injured worker must be the type that is covered under the law. Trade work that is usually covered includes:

  • Construction
  • Erection
  • Demolition
  • Altering a building or structure

It is also important to note that the injury does not have to occur on a construction site: in any case where the work being performed is trade-type work, the worker is protected under New York law. For example, if the trade worker’s company was hired by a building owner to paint, replace electrical wiring, install an alarm system or boiler, etc., these types of activities would normally be covered.

In addition, the safe place to work laws concentrate on providing workers in the trades with protection from elevation-related accidents, such as falls from a height (ladders, scaffolds, platforms, etc.). When a worker falls from a height and is injured because a ladder or scaffold is inadequate, unsecured, unstable, or defective, these laws mandate “absolute liability” upon the owner and general contractor. This is true regardless of who owned the ladder or scaffold.

Owners and general contractors are also considered negligent if materials, tools, or supplies fall from a height and strike a worker below. Under section 240 of New York labor law, construction trade workers who are injured on the job due to falls or other height-related issues are specifically protected.

Safe Place to Work laws also provide protection for injuries caused if a worker slips or trips on a worksite, is harmed by an electrical current, or is injured by equipment. While no one wants to take their employer, or worse yet, a friend whose deck you were repairing, to court, this is often the only way to be fairly compensated so that you can make a full recovery.

How do I File a Lawsuit?

If you believe your employer or the owner of a building or structure where you were working caused your injuries due to negligence, it is in your best interest to get in touch with a construction injury lawyer serving New York. At Buttafuoco & Associates, we provide free consultations to all injured parties and can give you a clearer sense of who was responsible for your injuries and what types of recourse you are entitled to under the law.

Owner Daniel P. Buttafuoco has a proven track record of success in handling labor law cases and in taking on owners and general contractors who do not properly protect their workers safety. When you work with us, you will receive individualized legal support to help you recover the maximum compensation possible.

To find out more, get in touch today at 1-800-NOW-HURT.


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