New York Construction Site Accidents
In New York, the Labor Law provides statutory protection to construction workers who are injured while working at construction sites.
New York Labor Law § 200 provides as follows:
1. All places to which this chapter applies shall be so constructed, equipped, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety of all persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places. All machinery, equipment, and devices in such places shall be so placed, operated, guarded, and lighted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to all such persons. The board may make rules to carry into effect the provisions of this section.
2. If the commissioner finds that any machinery, equipment, or device in any place to which this chapter applies is in a dangerous condition, or finds that any area to which this chapter applies is in a dangerous condition, he may attach a notice to such machinery, equipment, or device, or post a notice in such area warning all persons of the danger. Such notice shall prohibit the use of such machinery, equipment, or device or prohibit further work in or occupancy of such area until the dangerous condition is corrected and the notice is removed by the commissioner. Upon receipt of a written notification from the employer that the dangerous condition has been corrected, the commissioner shall make a re-inspection within ten working days, and if the commissioner finds that the dangerous condition has been corrected, he shall remove the notice. The filing with the board of a petition for a review of the validity and reasonableness of the commissioner’s order pursuant to section one hundred one of this chapter, shall not stay further proceedings; provided, however, that the board, in its discretion, may upon application of the petitioner stay further proceedings. The board shall grant or deny such application for a stay within seventy-two hours after the filing of the application.
3. Whenever a notice is attached or posted as provided in subdivision two of this section, the attorney general may institute a proceeding to enjoin the use of such machinery, equipment, or device or to enjoin further work in or occupancy of such area. Such proceeding shall not be stayed by the filing with the board of a petition for a review of the validity or reasonableness of a commissioner’s order pursuant to section one hundred one of this chapter.
4. In the exercise of his powers to protect the health and safety of employees the commissioner shall, in municipalities which have accepted the applicability of the state building construction code, enforce the provisions of such code in factories, mercantile establishments and places of public assembly with respect to: (a) sanitation and health facilities; (b) guarding against and minimizing fire and industrial radiation hazards; (c) safety of vertical transportation; and (d) adequacy of exits.
Labor Law § 200 is a codification of the common law duty of an owner of a premises or employer to provide employees with a safe place to work. However, unlike Labor Law § 240 (1) or § 241 (6) claims, under §200 the plaintiff must establish that the owner or general contractor exercised supervisory control over the construction site or the work activity bringing about the injury.
General supervisory authority is insufficient to constitute supervisory control. It must be demonstrated that the owner or contractor “controlled the manner in which the plaintiff performed his or her work, i.e., how the injury-producing work was performed.” Hughes v. Tishman Const. Corp.,40 A.D.3d 305, 836 N.Y.S.2d 86 (1st Dept. 2007).
While the Labor Law affords construction workers with statutory protection when injured at a job site, the law can seem complex and confusing to the inexperienced. Therefore, if you or a loved one sustained an injury while working at a construction site in New York, it is important to speak to a competent Labor Law lawyer to protect your rights and assert your interests.