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Labor Law Section 240 addresses scaffolding safety

Though it isn't supposed to be, working construction can be extremely dangerous. Workers may be asked to perform their duties at extreme heights, near fast-moving vehicles or near heavy and dangerous machinery. Fortunately, state and federal regulations seek to ensure construction workers safety.

For example, New York Labor Law Section 240 spells out the safety requirements for scaffolding and other equipment that must be met. Under that law, contractors and owners must provide and erect all scaffolding, hoists, ladders, ropes and other devices used while working on a building. Such scaffolding must have a safety rail that is attached properly, utilizing bolts, braces or other devices that extend the length and the ends of the scaffolding. The purpose of this is to ensure that the scaffolding doesn't sway and cause workers to fall.

The regulations don't end there. All scaffolding must also be able to hold at least four times the maximum weight of the items and people it is meant to old. This may seem like an obvious issue to address, but failing to provide proper weight-bearing scaffolding can result in a collapse and serious worker injury.

Although these regulations are meant to keep workers safe, far too often employers fail to adhere to them. Whether in an attempt to save time or money, these employers put their workers directly in harm's way. It is unacceptable to allow these dangerous conditions to arise. With that in mind, those who suffer workplace injuries may want to consider their legal options. Workers' compensation may be able to help cover some losses, but it may not allow an individual to recoup the full extent of his or her harm. When that is the case, it might be wise to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: FindLaw, "New York Labor Law Section 240," accessed on Nov. 14, 2016

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