A Makeshift Scaffold Substitute Allows a New York Worker to Proceed to Trial in His Construction Injury Case

In construction work, there are often competing priorities. Those in charge of a job site may choose to prioritize safety, or they may choose to prioritize speed, even at the risk of compromising safety. Regrettably, the latter scenario happens too often and, too many times workers are injured as a result. If that happens to you, you may be able to secure compensation for the harm you suffered. Consult a knowledgeable New York City construction injury attorney about your options if you’ve been hurt.

F.K. was a worker injured on the job. F.K. was performing stucco work on the exterior of a four-story, three-family residence. At first, F.K. was using a scaffold to do his job. After one day, one of the owners allegedly told him to take down the scaffold and finish his work quickly because a building inspector was coming to the site. After that first day, F.K. used a makeshift system. That system consisted of planks laid across a ladder that was itself laid down horizontally across a fire escape and strapped to the fire escape with wire.

Unsurprisingly, this makeshift system led to problems. When F.K. placed a bucket of stucco materials on one end, the ladder tipped over, which caused F.K. to fall and suffer substantial injuries.

The Appellate Division court concluded that this evidence offered by F.K. was enough to allow him to proceed in his lawsuit against the owners. Two of the claims that F.K. asserted as part of his lawsuit were statutory ones under Sections 240(1) and 241(6) of the Labor Law. The first of those two can protect you if you suffer injuries at your construction or construction-related job due to a fall or an object falling on you. The second of those two can protect you if your construction injuries resulted from an owner or general contractor’s failure to follow applicable New York safety regulations.

So, how exactly did those laws help F.K.? Section 240(1) says that property owners and general contractors have something called a “nondelegable duty” to give workers proper safety equipment for jobs where the workers face risks from working in “elevated work sites,” and Section 241(6) says that property owners and general contractors have a nondelegable duty to give workers adequate safety and protection that complies with rules and regulations created by the Department of Labor. What that “nondelegable duty” phrase means is that they have a legal obligation to provide you with appropriate safety devices and, if they don’t and you’re injured as a result, they cannot assert as a defense that they handed off to someone else the responsibility for providing safety for workers like you.

In F.K.’s case, he had evidence that he was injured as a result of fall suffered while using an unstable makeshift device to allow him to access his elevated work site. That proof was enough to allow him to go forward to trial and seek compensation for the harm he suffered in his fall.

If you have been hurt at your construction job, arm yourself with the resources you need to get the compensation you deserve. Consult the New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates for representation you can count on. Our team has many years of experience helping injured workers to get the positive results they need.

Contact us at (718) 651-4363 to find out how we can help you.

More Blog Posts:

What New York State Safety Regulations Can I Use as the Basis for Pursuing a Construction Injury Lawsuit?, Blog de Abogado en la Ciudad de Nueva York, 1 de Octubre de 2018

Construction Debris Leads to a Successful Outcome For a New York Carpenter Pursuing a Construction Injury Case, Blog de Abogado en la Ciudad de Nueva York, 15 de Agosto de 2018