Construction Accidents and Labor Law 241(6)

For anyone working at construction sites, it’s imperative to know the law. Construction sites are, by their very nature, dangerous. Workers are constantly exposed to dangerous working conditions, including defective power tools, fall hazards, insufficient safety devices, falling objects, and electrical hazards. When a worker gets so injured and cannot work, Workers’ Compensation may not be enough. Fortunately, New York’s Labor Law 241(6) provides a means of recovery for individuals injured at construction sites beyond the relatively small compensation available through Workers’ Compensation Law.

Labor Law 241(6) provides that when a construction worker is injured due to a violation of New York’s Industrial Code, the building owner and general contractor can be responsible for the injury. The law developed as a way for the State to protect construction workers from dangerous working conditions. Usually, construction workers are at the mercy of their employer, the general contractor or the building owner. If a worker is provided with inadequate equipment or exposed to a dangerous workplace, the worker generally does not have the authority or financial security to insist on safer working conditions. Before the Labor Law, when those workers were so injured that they could not work, they usually ended up on public assistance. The Labor Law was designed to shift the cost away from the State and to the parties most able to control working conditions and pay for workers’ injuries, i.e., the building owner and general contractor.

Trief & Olk handles a wide variety of construction accident cases, from defective power saws, to nail gun accidents, to falls from ladders and scaffolds. One unique case involved a construction executive who suffered an electric shock at a construction site because of a dangerously-installed wire. The defendant went so far as to deny that plaintiff suffered an electric shock, but plaintiff demonstrated the existence of the shock through an emailed accident report, medical records that included a diagnosis of electrocution, testimony from plaintiff’s treating physician in Canada (who Trief & Olk deposed on video in anticipation of the very defense used by defendant), and defendant’s own medical experts, five of whom wrote in their reports that the plaintiff suffered an electric shock or had objective symptoms consistent with electric shock.

If you are a construction worker or a person who was injured at a construction site, Trief & Olk is available to answer your questions. Feel free to leave us a submission via our website or call us directly to discuss how we may help you.