Construction sites are among the most dangerous workplace environments. One in five people killed on the job in 2015 were construction workers and thousands more are injured each year. In recent years, notable accidents affecting our own community led to the deaths of a 37-year old man in Niskayuna, a 47-year old man in Rensselaer and a 54-year old man in Guilderland Center.
As a construction worker, you have the right to expect reasonable protections to enable you to do your job each day. Laws are in effect to protect New Yorkers on construction sites against unsafe conditions, irresponsible employers, and negligent coworkers or contractors.
If you have been injured on the job at a construction site, you are protected by workers’ compensation, which allows you to apply for benefits under certain circumstances. You should notify your supervisor and seek immediate medical attention if you’ve been injured. You will also need to notify your employer in writing within 30 days, and complete an Employee Claim (C-3) form with the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board. There are numerous other deadlines and action steps you will need to take to fulfill a claim; failure to do so means you could forfeit your rights to workers’ compensation benefits. You should contact an experienced lawyer, and there are several local attorneys who focus their practice on workers compensation claims, including Alex Dell, Patrick Fiore and Christopher Lemire.
It is important to understand that a workers’ compensation claim is not your only recourse. If you have been injured because of the negligence of a contractor or subcontractor, you may be entitled to pursue legal action to receive compensation for your economic loss, and long-term pain and suffering. Specific provisions in the New York State Labor Law relate to these protections available to workers on a construction site:
- NYS Labor Law § 240(1) – also known as the “Scaffold Law,” it provides protections to injured workers when a fall from a height or an elevation-related injury is involved (e.g., falling off a ladder or scaffold, or being injured by a piece of falling debris not properly secured).
- NYS Labor Law § 241(6) – provides that those who are directing and controlling the work site take steps under the law and provide certain equipment to keep the job site safe (e.g., work areas must be free of debris and sharp objects, and must be properly illuminated).
- NYS Labor Law §§ 200 – Requires owners and contractors to take reasonable steps to protect workers and provide safe workplaces.
As the construction industry booms—with an anticipated growth rate of 8% in the Northeast for 2017—the need to ensure workers are protected has never been more critical.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a construction site accident, LaMarche Safranko Law can help. We are experienced personal injury attorneys who have seen firsthand the devastating impact a worksite accident has, and we’ve fought hard to recover millions of dollars for our clients. Learn more about our prior worksite injury Verdicts and Settlements. Contact us today for a free consultation at (518) 982-0770 or online.