More than a century old: New York’s Scaffold Safety Law

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2015 | Workers' Compensation

It is hardly surprising that New York is a state prominently pointed to as having a seminal and important law relating to workers’ falls from heights.

Consider the urban environment of the late 19th century across the country, with cities from coast to coast consistently expanding.

Notably, of course, that expansion was both horizontal and vertical. New York’s lofty skyscrapers did not magically materialize; rather, they were the product of decades of construction workers’ efforts on scaffolds erected hundreds of feet high.

And now, in 2015, the city’s history is evidenced in a most material way by scores of buildings that rise high above its streets.

The cost of that construction in human lives was high, especially during early years of construction marked by an absence of meaningful safety laws to protect workers toiling off the ground.

As we note in a workers’ compensation-related article on our website at The Klein Law Group P.C., the enactment of the New York Scaffold Safety Law was a response to the dangers that construction workers daily faced and still continue to face presently.

Although the law is of course tied to workers’ compensation benefits in New York, it is distinct in that injured workers can independently invoke its protections.

That protective and pro-worker slant has drawn sharp and persistent criticism from many employers and state legislators, who argue that the law increases the costs of building projects and adds to insurance premiums.

Such arguments obviously fail to gain traction among the men and women who actually put themselves at bodily risk as they construct and improve New York City and its environs high above the ground.

A state worker who suffers an on-the-job injury can contact a proven workers’ compensation attorney for information regarding legal remedies, as well as for strong representation in any legal action required to secure lawful protections.