New York Labor Law 241
Many residents of New York work in the construction industry, with jobs that can be labor-intensive and dangerous. According to a recent annual report by OSHA, 1 in 5 worker fatalities took place in the construction industry.
The State of New York recognizes how hazardous construction jobs can be and has implemented labor laws specifically for construction workers. This article is going to discuss Labor Law 241, which gives guidelines regarding excavation, demolition, and safety equipment.
You have hope! Many claims have successfully been brought under Article 241. If you or someone you love has been injured in a construction accident, do not hesitate to contact our law firm today. It is important to have a construction accident attorney on your side who thoroughly understands the New York labor code.
Contact our law firm today at (212) 668-6000 to schedule a free initial case evaluation. Our legal team truly cares about the people we help and is committed to protecting their legal rights. In fact, clients have said when Hill & Moin is on your side, “It’s like having a lawyer in the family.”
What is NY Labor Law 241 and How Does It Protect Construction Workers?
Contractors and construction site owners have an obligation to provide a safe working environment for their employees. Unfortunately, in an effort to save time and money, many safety regulations are ignored and never implemented.
When a construction worker is injured due to an employer’s failure to provide a safe work environment, the worker has the right to take legal action. Labor Law 241 is one of many safety laws that offer legal protection to New York construction employees, including undocumented workers.
Labor Law 241 contains safety regulations regarding:
- Elevators: Elevators and other machinery used to lift items during construction must have barriers on all sides. This is to protect workers from being hit by falling debris and imposes liability on general contractors to protect their employees when installing an elevator or other lift apparatus.
- Floor construction: The law outlines safety measures to prevent falls between building levels. Each level of flooring should be completed before the next one progresses, or the floor two stories below must be planked over.
- Worksite safety: All areas where construction, excavation, and demolition work is being performed must be guarded, shored, equipped, arranged, and operated in a way that provides reasonable and adequate protection to construction workers.
- Hazardous materials: A structure built before 1974 needs to be thoroughly inspected for asbestos or asbestos-related materials before any demolition takes place. If there is asbestos found in the building, there will have to be total remediation completed by an asbestos contractor before the building can be demolished.
- Liability: The law protects architects, landscape designers, and professional engineers from being held liable for violations of Labor Law 241 if they did not direct or control any work outside of planning or designing.
Violation of Labor Law 241 Can Result in Severe Injuries
Construction workers may be used to sustaining mild scrapes and bruises while on the job. However, a violation of labor laws can result in injuries that are severe.
Injuries sustained as a result of a violation of Labor Law 241 may include:
- Broken bones: A fall, collision, or falling object can stress a bone past its breaking point. A construction site accident can result in multiple broken bones that require surgery, casts, rehabilitation therapy, or other medical treatment.
- Neck and back injuries: A fall from a floor that was improperly planked can result in a severe back or neck injury. Deep bruising, muscle strains, herniated discs, and joint sprains can be extremely painful and prevent a person from being able to return to work.
- Asbestos exposure: A construction worker may be exposed to asbestos if employers fail to follow proper inspection and remediation protocols. Exposure to asbestos is the main cause of work-related deaths worldwide. It commonly causes asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other serious diseases.
- Paralysis: A falling object or a major fall could result in damage to the spinal column and nervous system, causing full or partial paralysis. These types of injuries can be devastating and life-altering. Medical treatment for paralysis may include physical, occupational, and vocational therapy, as well as surgeries, mobility devices, and more.
- Amputations: Inadequate safety gear, a fall from heights, and falling objects can all cause traumatic fractures and cuts. These could also, sadly, leave a person with one less finger, toe, or limb. Amputations are catastrophic injuries that leave victims scarred physically and emotionally.
- Wrongful death: Labor laws are in place to prevent injuries and fatalities. Tragically, ignoring safety standards has resulted in construction workers losing their lives in accidents that could have been avoidable.
What to Do If You Were Injured Due to a Labor Law Violation?
Construction jobs are inherently dangerous, but all workers in New York have a legal right to work in a reasonably safe environment. If you were injured on the job, you should seek help immediately. The steps you take could impact your physical health and financial future.
It is recommended you take the following steps after being injured at work:
- Seek medical attention: Your top priority following a workplace accident should be your health. Make sure to tell your doctor exactly how the incident occurred and any symptoms you are experiencing. Your doctor will keep documented medical records that could prove useful when pursuing compensation.
- Report your injury to a supervisor: Inform your employer or supervisor of your injury as soon as you are able. Sometimes companies do not want a report filled out that documents their safety violations. However, you should take note of who took the report and the date it is submitted, to obtain copies of all completed documents and reports.
- Gather evidence: If possible, gather any evidence at the accident scene to support your claim. This may include photos of the accident site or eyewitness testimony. It is also recommended to write down any details of the accident you remember while it is still fresh in your mind.
- File a claim: A workers’ compensation claim should be filed as soon as possible after being injured on the job. Workers’ comp should cover any medical expenses related to your injury, but it is recommended to seek legal advice before accepting any final offers.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer: A personal injury lawyer can investigate your accident, defend your legal rights, and help you recover the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to receive. Your attorney will also make sure that the incident is reported and work to ensure changes are made to prevent others from being injured.
New York Construction Site Accidents and Third-Party Claims
If you were injured on a construction site due to the violation of Labor Law 241, you can file a workers’ compensation claim and recover money for your medical bills. You may even be entitled to get additional damages and compensation.
In order to recover compensation outside of workers’ comp, you need to show proof of negligence. For this reason, it is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer after your accident. An experienced attorney will be able to gather essential evidence, identify all parties liable for your injuries, and help you file a lawsuit for other damages.
Third parties responsible for your injuries may include:
- Property owners
- Manufacturers of defective products
Available Compensation Following a New York Construction Site Accident
New York labor laws require construction site workers and contractors to ensure the safety of their employees. If they fail to do so, these laws give workers the right to pursue compensation.
The payout of workers’ compensation benefits will usually provide:
- Reimbursement for medical expenses
- Money for lost wages
- Wrongful death damages
Recoverable damages in personal injury lawsuits may include compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- In-home health care, therapy, medical devices, and more
- Lost income and loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering (mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, etc.)
- Disfigurement and scarring
Schedule a Free Case Consultation Today
Labor Law 241 and other New York laws are in place to protect workers. These give workers the right to work in a hazard-free environment – and the right to be compensated when their employers violate those laws and they are injured as a result.
At Hill & Moin, our compassionate legal team understands just how difficult a serious workplace injury can be for both you and your family. We try to make the legal process as easy as possible for our clients and provide them with the support and guidance they need during this difficult time.
Remember, even as an undocumented worker, you have rights under New York state law. You do not have to be concerned about being deported if you choose to speak with a personal injury lawyer and file a claim.
The lawyers at Hill & Moin LLP take all cases on a contingency fee basis. Call us at (212) 668-6000 to schedule a free case consultation today.
Don’t wonder about your rights! Our attorneys can offer you Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ.