Although construction workers’ have skills and experience that help prevent accidents, construction sites are inherently dangerous leading to serious injuries. Workers benefit from state labor code sections intended to protect them and keep them safe. By becoming fully aware of these statutes, all workers can:
learn how to readily choose responsible new employers — and recognize when current job supervisors are failing to meet all applicable state and OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) work standards.
At present, construction workers are entitled to such labor code safety measures as personal protection equipment (PPE), properly maintained hand tools, safety ladders, and protection against various electrical hazards.
What follows is a brief overview of additional NY Labor Code Section 23, Subpart 23, that helps protect construction workers against various other workplace dangers. Labor Law 240 protects workers from gravity-related hazards including worker falls from elevated work surfaces and falling objects. Labor Law 241(6) requires reasonable and adequate protection and requires construction site-building owners, general contractors, and construction companies to follow Rule 23 Industrial Codes. Construction projects often focus on everything except safety so resources and finances toward safety are vital. New York City Construction accident lawyers can provide in-depth consults in this complex area of the law and help injured workers obtain full justice.
Should your current employer be failing to respect all these minimum safety protections, you must raise your concerns with your immediate supervisor and request full code compliance. You can also file an anonymous complaint with OSHA.
NY Labor Code Subpart Section 23 – 1.5 (Pertaining to work supervision & equipment)
This statutory section states that competent supervisors must be regularly present to observe all major construction site work activities. A company’s failure to provide such supervision can lead to serious injuries and the filing of successful a construction accident lawsuit against the site property owners, general contractor, and other liable parties.
In addition, all construction site employers must provide adequate safety equipment, regularly maintained in good working order. If such equipment becomes broken or defective, an injured worker can file a worker’s compensation claim — and possibly, a third-party liability lawsuit. A consultation with an experienced construction accident attorney will provide further answers.
NY Labor Code Subpart Section 23-1.7 (Related to general workplace hazards)
This code section discusses workplace hazards that can include falling tools and materials; the proper handling of corrosive and toxic substances; and failing to provide adequate respiratory equipment when the workplace is filled with contaminated air or an inadequate supply of oxygen. All such equipment must be routinely cleaned and serviced in between work shifts.
Other safety concerns addressed in this section include dangers that can cause serious trips and falls — or unsafe methods for vertical passage — such as unsafe ladders or ramps.
NY Labor Code Subpart Section 23 – 1.8 (Regarding personal protection equipment/PPE)
All construction workers must be provided with adequate PPE for all vulnerable parts of their bodies — including their heads, eyes, and feet. Adequate cleanliness standards must also be established and followed regarding any equipment that must be routinely used by different workers on various daily shifts.
NY Labor Code Subpart Section 23-1.10 (Pertaining to properly maintained hand tools)
Regular tool maintenance of unpowered hand tools includes the timely repair of dull blades, loose (or split) handles and various other broken parts. Likewise, all power tools that depend on electricity or compressed air must also be properly examined and regularly maintained. Finally, great care must also be taken to regularly inspect and repair all-electric or hose lines leading to all power hand tools.
NY Labor Code Subpart Section 23.1.12 (Proper maintenance of power-driven machinery)
All construction site workers also have a right to depend on all on-site machines having proper safety guards installed. When such guards are missing, workers can be seriously injured by sharp machinery parts or the flow of electricity.
Parts such as pulleys, belts, and flywheels must be maintained at proper work surface levels. This same safety standard pertains to all power-driven saws and other potentially dangerous equipment.
NY Labor Code Subpart Section 23-1.13 (This is related to various electrical hazards)
Construction site employers must rarely check the voltage levels of various equipment and make sure that all electric power circuits are working properly. Special care must also be taken when certain equipment – such as circuits or switches – need to be de-energized.
Employers must also regularly check to be sure all construction site equipment is being operated at a safe distance from any overhead energized lines, while also guarding against other electrical safety hazards.
Workers should never be required to perform various work tasks when adequate safety railings have not been built prior to the assignment of such tasks. Precise dimensions are provided in this code section so that employers will know the exact types of railings that must be built and where they must be located.
Properly constructed handrails, mid-rails, and toe boards all play crucial roles in keeping workers safe.
NY Labor Code Subpart Section 23-1.16 (Regarding safety belts and harnesses, etc.)
Training and instruction must be given to workers so that they can learn how to use all harnesses, safety belts, tail lines, and lifelines. Specific information included in this section also tells employers how long all safety lines must be — and the necessary types of padding that may also be required. Great care must be taken to properly maintain all this equipment so that each worker starts a new shift properly protected from falls and other dangers.
An experienced NYC construction site accident attorney will be a guide to injured workers. A labor law case properly built will obtain full justice including lost wages, medical costs, and other economic losses as well as pain & suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and full compensation benefits. This in total represents the damages law firms recover for our clients.
If you have suffered serious injuries in a construction site accident caused by someone else’s negligence, please reach out to our New York City construction accident lawyers. Our firm will fully explain all your worker’s compensation rights and whether the facts may support the filing of a third-party civil liability lawsuit. We always carefully investigate all the facts of your case, review all your medical records, and then fight hard to win the maximum compensation available to you. We want every client to fully recover for all lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other losses.