A construction company owner who ignored repeated warnings by the Department of Buildings to install guardrails at a building site has been charged with manslaughter and indicted in connection with the death of a worker who fell six stories to his death. This story highlights the hazards of construction jobs and the need to insure that laws protecting workers are enforced.
The dangers involved in construction and scaffolding work led the New York State Legislature to pass Labor Law Section 240 and 241(6) to protect construction workers. Scaffold and ladder accidents are usually caused by negligent construction, placement or maintenance of a scaffold or ladder, or a failure to provide workers with protection from the hazards of working at a height. When a contractor or owner fails to provide appropriate safety equipment, a resulting fall can cause catastrophic injuries or wrongful death.
Under New York’s Labor Law, owners and general contractors have an absolute obligation to ensure that construction workers exposed to the hazards of working at an elevation are safe and falls that injure or kill workers are prevented.
Despite these laws, there has been a spike in construction related fatalities recently. The catastrophic injuries and deaths associated with these accidents make it clear the protections afforded by the Labor Law are absolutely necessary for workers.
The Insurance Industry has repeatedly pushed to repeal the Labor Law provisions that protect workers, claiming that increased insurance costs jeopardize economic growth. We at Bonina and Bonina, P.C. firmly believe that these important laws must remain in place to incentivize Owners and General Contractors to maintain safe worksites. What do you think?