Construction Accidents - New York State Industrial Code

Under the Industrial Code of New York State, and the applicable provisions of New York State’s Labor Law, construction workers, as well as “persons lawfully frequenting such places”, who are on sites where construction, demolition or excavation is being performed, must be provided with “reasonable and adequate safety” by owners, general contractors, contractors and their agents. More specifically, owners have a “non-delegable duty” (meaning that owners and contractors cannot escape liability if they are not on site) to provide reasonable safety protection to construction workers or others lawfully on any site where construction, alteration, repair, erection, demolition, maintenance, or painting is being performed.

In order for liability to be established under one of New York’s Industrial Code provisions, it must be specifically proven that the worker or other person lawfully on the construction site was injured due to a violation of that particular Industrial Code section. There is an exception to the law for owners of one or two family dwellings who do not direct or control construction. They are not covered by, and are not responsible to, workers or other persons lawfully on the construction site under the Industrial Code and New York State Labor Law. And unlike New York’s Labor Law provisions regarding proper protection to workers who are working on scaffolds and ladders, (under which the law makes owners, contractors and their agents “absolutely liable” if they violate the statute), in Industrial Code violation cases, the comparative fault of the worker or person lawfully on site IS considered in determining who is responsible for the accident.

The Industrial Code requires owners, general contractors, construction managers, contractors and their agents to provide reasonable and adequate safety with regard to the following areas of construction: confined spaces; overhead hazards; hazardous openings; elevated hazards; safety railings; to prevent against slip and falls on floors, passageways, walkways, scaffolds, platforms, or other elevated working surfaces. The law also requires the provision of equipment such as safety belts, harnesses, tail lines and lifelines in certain areas of elevated construction at specific heights.

Due to the intricacies of the Industrial Code and the New York State Labor Law, it is absolutely vital that you retain lawyers that have the requisite experience, background, knowledge and dedication to successfully represent you in your construction accident case from the claim stage through resolution of the case by trial, settlement or other resolution, including arbitration or mediation.

At the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel, we have been successfully representing the victims of construction accidents in the Federal and State Courts of New York since 1986. We are conveniently located with offices in White Plains, the Bronx, and Peekskill, New York. Immediately upon retention by the client injured in any construction accident, we conduct a prompt and thorough investigation, as there is essential evidence which must be secured without delay, including items such as the ladder, scaffold, harness, or other safety equipment. If the accident involves a slip or trip and fall over construction debris or into a hazardous opening, we retain the necessary professionals to obtain statements from witnesses to the accident and hazardous conditions, and to secure photographs of the accident scene and equipment involved.

If the insurance carriers for the defendant owners and contractors are unwilling to negotiate a settlement of the case in good faith, we will not hesitate to commence suit without delay, as it is our unwavering policy to assure that our clients’ cases are handled as expeditiously and diligently as possible. We are always available by telephone, fax, or email, and all client inquiries are responded to within 24 hours without exception.

At the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel, it is our policy to fight the insurance companies and their defense counsel from the minute our client walks into our office to the date that the case is resolved, to assure the maximum possible compensation for our clients’ pain and suffering, past and future lost earnings and loss of earnings potential, hospital and medical expenses, and loss of enjoyment of life. Call us toll free at 888-761-7633 or email msiesel@optonline.net for a free consultation to discuss your case in detail.