Falls from height are the primary reason for construction accidents. New York labor law has a specific section dedicated to this. Known as Section 240 or the Scaffold Law, it allows you to claim against your employer or the property owner if injured in a fall from height. It covers all falls, not only those from scaffolding.
Not everyone agrees with the law, and there have been several attempts to have the law changed. Those who are seeking reform claim construction workers should be held responsible for their part in an accident that was in some way their fault. The current law has the employer or property owner entirely liable if they breached safety regulations or did not provide adequate safety equipment.
The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) continues to defend the need for the Scaffold Law. Those demanding reforms claim the law raises insurance premiums and makes buying property more expensive. NYCOSH says if this is true, then insurers should show their calculations to the public to prove it.
Does the Scaffold Law mean I can file a claim for a fall from height myself?
Filing a claim under the Scaffold Law does not mean you will automatically get the compensation you need. Insurance companies will always fight to lower the amount they pay you. Remember that their primary concern is to turn a profit for their shareholders, not to ensure that you are well looked after.
Insurers have experienced legal teams to fight every construction injury case. You cannot compete with them unless you, too, have experienced legal representation. Falls from a height on construction sites can have lifelong consequences. It is crucial to get the compensation you and your family need.