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New York Scaffold Accidents

Falls are the leading cause of workplace deaths, causing thousands of injuries each year. New York construction workers who are doing their work from scaffolding remain at risk for falls almost continuously. If you are injured in a scaffold accident in New York City, contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP to explore your options for compensation.

Scaffold Law in New York

New York law includes strict provision for the safety of workers operating on scaffolding. According to New York’s Scaffold Law (Labor Law Section 240), it is the responsibility of third parties – contractors, project owners, project managers, etc. – to ensure that all customary protections are in place to prevent workers from falling off of scaffolding.

Established safety measures include the following:

  • Proper fastening of the scaffolding – bolting, bracing or other techniques – so that it does not sway from the building or structure where work is being done.
  • The scaffolding must be able to bear four times the maximum weight which will be placed on it.
  • A safety rail that is at least 34 inches above the “floor” of the scaffolding and which extends along the length of the outside and the ends of the scaffolding.
  • Any safety lines, harnesses, etc. that are necessary to guarantee worker safety.
  • Providing appropriate safety training to those who will be working on the scaffold.

If you were involved in a scaffolding accident in which these precautions were not in place, were attended to improperly, or where other factors not named above created an unsafe working environment, you have a right to seek compensation.

Construction Accident

What Are the Types of Scaffolding Where Accidents Can Occur?

The specific scaffolding equipment used at a construction site can vary according to the work being done. Each type has its own applications – and risks.

  • “Baker/Perry” scaffolds involve narrow metal platforms on wheels, with guard rails at mid-level and at the top. They provide more stability than ladders for jobs that require some time to complete and are popular equipment for construction work. Hazards associated with this piece of equipment include the collapse of the scaffold, electric shocks, falls and tipping over.
  • Hanging scaffolds, also known as suspended scaffolds, are work platforms that are attached to overhead support structures and hang from them by rope or other non-rigid means. There are strict requirements for the use of these structures in New York City, including completing a training course and providing a Certificate of Fitness for the equipment being used. Any workers asked to work on hanging scaffolds must complete safety training and a licensed rigger, foreman or another qualified person must be on site at all times when these scaffolds are being used.
  • Pipe scaffolding is built by connecting metal pipes with coupling devices. This is a popular and adaptable approach, often rising multiple stories. Throughout the structure, attention must be paid to connections, work platforms, guardrails, weight-bearing load, and other factors.

In addition to these general types, there are a number of proprietary scaffolding systems developed for specific applications.

Scaffolding Planks: The Number One Cause of Accidents

According to the United States Department of Labor, the number one cause of scaffolding injuries is scaffolding planks giving way – primarily due to the fact that not all lumber is appropriate for this use. Strict requirements have been established regarding the grade of lumber to be used, the condition of the wood in the planks, the maximum length of spans, weight-bearing capacity and other matters. failure to follow these guidelines may put any users of the scaffolding planks at risk.

Get Legal Help Now

Scaffold accidents often come with serious injuries that can have long-term effects on your life, your income, and your career. If you have suffered an injury due to scaffolding accident, contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today. We have the experience, knowledge, and skills to assist you in negotiating with insurance companies to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible. Schedule a free consultation today.



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