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New York has labor laws to help protect construction workers

When it comes to construction job-site safety in New York, the law clearly puts the burden on the employer and property owner, not on the workers.

It is imperative to understand the laws as they apply to the industry so that all construction workers know exactly what their rights are. You can find many of the applicable information in sections 200, 240 and 241. Here's what you need to know:

Section 200

This section provides general provisions for safety for these workers. It includes information about safety and security, as well as requirements for lighting and similar points. You can also find standards for heavy equipment and power tools in this section. The more specific points to know are covered in the other applicable sections.

Section 240

New York's labor law section 240 covers construction worker falls. This is a topic that was covered in the May 1, 2018 issue of OSHA QuickTakes, which discussed the National Stand Down that ran from May 7 to 11. This is a nationwide effort to minimize the problem of falls on construction sites.

This section is commonly referred to as the Scaffolding Law since it applies to these structures, but it also has to do with any equipment that lifts the workers more than 10 inches off the ground. It places the full liability on the construction company to ensure that the workers have what they need to remain safe while they are working.

It is imperative that every scaffold, ladder or similar equipment is inspected prior to each use. Additionally, workers who are going to use them should have proper safety equipment, such as harnesses, to help prevent them from hitting the ground if they do fall.

Section 241

This part of the labor law has to do with how demolition sites are handled, as well as how construction companies should set up for specific events or situations. Things like air contamination and drowning are covered here.

Workers must realize that these laws don't add any additional duties to the workers. Even though safety on the worker's part is encouraged, the burden for ensuring that the work site is safe and ready for the workers who are putting in time to get things built.

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