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Construction sites can be dangerous places. Those who are working at an elevated height – on a ladder, scaffold, deck, etc – are especially at risk of being injured as the result of falling. These types of accidents can result in serious or even fatal injuries.

As a result, New York’s Labor Law provides special legal protection for construction workers who are injured as the result of elevation-related risks – falling from a height or being struck by a falling object. The law holds the property owner and the general contractor strictly liable to a worker who is injured in that manner, even if they were not directly responsible for the accident. In addition, the worker’s own negligence (if any) is not a defense in this type of case.

Construction site owners and general contractors are also responsible for injuries that result from violations of New York’s Industrial Code. The Industrial Code includes rules about keeping passageways and working areas clear of slipping and tripping hazards, sharp projections, and other things that can cause an injury. There are also rules about eye protection, swinging loads, trenches or other excavations, vehicles operating in reverse, and more.

Many construction site injuries are the result of a violation of a provision of the Industrial Code, and therefore create legal responsibility on the part of the site owner and general contractor. However, in these cases the worker’s own negligence may come into play to reduce the recovery (for example if the worker should have seen the tripping hazard before he or she tripped over it).


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