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Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in New York. According to the New York City Department of Health, construction-related fatalities are five times higher than all other industries in the city. In fact, last year there were twenty-two deaths in the private construction industry in New York City and thousands more were injured.
Construction sites are extremely hazardous and can be deadly if proper safety precautions are not implemented and followed. Under New York's Labor Law, contractors and subcontractors must ensure compliance with industrial codes to help prevent fatalities and injuries.
Labor Law § 241(6)
Owners, contractors and their agents have a duty to ensure that they maintain a safe jobsite for workers. While Labor Law § 240 specifically covers height related safety and accidents, Labor Law § 241(6) applies to construction, excavation and demolition. Specifically, it requires that safety equipment and adequate protection must be provided to workers who are engaging in these types of construction related activities.
Industrial Code Rule No. 23
In addition to the federal OSHA safety rules, New York has its own set of safety guidelines that must be followed on construction sites. The New York Department of Labor has codified the protections that must be provided to construction workers on job sites in Part 23, also known as Industrial Code Rule No. 23. Importantly, if an injured worker wishes to pursue a Labor Law 241(6) claim, they must assert a violation of this rule.
The rule covers a wide range of safety protections and includes provisions for:
Part 23 also addresses the health and safety requirements for demolition and excavation operations, scaffolding, cranes, power equipment, exhaust gas, use of explosives, and hoisting
Pursuing a Legal Action for Workplace Injuries
Workers' Compensation benefits may cover medical expenses and lost wages up to a certain amount. However, your construction-related injuries may be much more extensive and require ongoing medical treatment. In severe cases, you may not be able to go back to work or conduct your daily activities.
Although Workers' Compensation bars you from suing your employer in New York, you may be able to recover damages for unreimbursed medical expenses, out of pocket costs, and lost wages in a personal injury action against a negligent third-party, such as an owner, contractor, or an agent of the owner. A successful plaintiff in a personal injury action may also be entitled to recover pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and in some cases, punitive damages. In the event that a loved one was lost in a construction site accident, the estate of the deceased may be entitled to compensation.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you are a worker who was injured due to an industrial code violation, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately who can protect your legal rights and advise you of your legal remedies. A personal injury attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, and time lost from work.
The Popick Law Firm has over thirty years of experience in obtaining compensation for victims of construction site accidents. Located in Fresh Meadows, NY, The Popick Law Firm handles personal injury cases in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties. Contact The Popick Law Firm today for a consultation.