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Falling Material Cases In New York Construction Accidents

September 7, 2016
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Our New York City construction accident lawyers have handled a lot of different types of construction accidents New York’s Labor Laws, which protect construction workers protect a wide variety of circumstances. While Labor Law 240, which is commonly referred to as the ladder law or the scaffold law protects against broken or collapsing ladders, planks and scaffolds, a lot of people do not know that it also covers falling object cases, when the objects are being hoisted or lifted. In other words, Labor Law § 240 protects against two categories of elevation related risks. such as where the elevation at which materials or loads are positioned or secured. The law also protects workers against the dangers associated with the difference between the level where a construction worker is stationed and a higher level of the materials or loads being hoisted or secured. A landowner or general contractor is responsible for falling objects because the law applies to any materials or loads positioned at an elevation and being lowered from an elevation that requires securing to prevent them from falling.

Some of the results from cases where the New York Courts have analyzed the application of Labor Law 240 to object cases are as follows. In one case, the Court held that Unloading material from a flatbed truck does not pose an elevation related hazard because the flatbed’s height above the ground. Therefore, where an injured worker fell from a truck, the case was not covered by Labor Law 240 because the injury did not result from an elevation related risk. However where a New York construction worker was injured by a falling bundle of materials, such as wood or concrete, the law requires that the fall have been prevented by a hoist, sling or other device to prevent the load from falling and injuring the worker. In these cases, the Courts have held that the lack of a forklift or other hoisting device, or adequate securing devices, such as stays, blocks, braces, irons, or ropes for the unloading of the load was a violation of law.

However the Court has also recognized that where the bundles of wood were strapped into the truck bed for transport shows that they presented a foreseeable risk of tumbling over the edge of the truck bed when unstrapped and then disturbed during unloading. Therefore, where a bundles of wood above him on the flatbed required securing to prevent them from falling onto the workers as they were unloading the wood, the Labor Law applies. Although the Courts have held that a load which swings sideways is not covered under Labor Law 240, a fall of even a foot is sufficient to bring the injury within the coverage of Labor Law 240. However, a side or lateral swing is protected under the provisions of New York’s Labor Law 241(6) and the Code of Industrial Regulations, including regulations which apply to the necessity of using taglines to move loads. From our Manhattan office, our New York construction accident attorneys have extensive experience in representing victims of construction accidents in New York City.

Our personal injury attorneys have handled construction accident cases in Westchester County, as well as New York City and Rockland.

 
The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph