Labor Law §240(1)
Labor Law §240(1) is a special and unique New York State workplace safety law designed to provide safety protection to all workers performing construction, demolition or repair work involving any building or structure.
This workplace safety law requires that all owners and contractors involved in the erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning, or pointing of a building or structure must furnish or erect safety devices for the performance of such work including scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, blocks, pulleys, braces, ropes and other safety devices. This safety law further requires that those devices be constructed, placed, operated and maintained so as to give all the employees performing work on the project proper protection from hazards and injuries.
The statute applies primarily, but not exclusively, when a worker falls from a height or an object falls onto a worker. When this workplace safety law is violated, an owner or contractor is absolutely and 100% liable for all the injuries and financial damages suffered by the injured worker.
New York State has a rich history of attempting to protect construction, demolition and other workers performing repair work because it recognizes that those workers are performing job duties in an inherently dangerous situation.
The State further has long recognized that in order to increase safety protection on jobsites and decrease injuries to workers, the responsibility for safety must be placed upon the owners of buildings and structures and the contractors doing the work because those businesses are in the best position to enforce workplace safety. Labor Law §240(1) is a further recognition that workers, due to their weaker economic position, are not in a position to insist upon safe work practices because the workers may then risk losing their jobs.
A legacy of supporting injured workers
For decades, Lipsitz Green has used New York State Labor Law §240(1) to help injured workers who have suffered serious injuries when this workplace safety law has been violated. Lipsitz Green has also helped expand this workplace safety law and expand the rights of workers who have been injured when performing construction, demolition or repair work by appealing unjust rulings to New York’s highest court and various other courts.