Feroleto Law, Buffalo NY

LABOR LAW 241(6): FOURTH DEPARTMENT FINDS IN FAVOR OF CONSTRUCTION WORKER

As a Western New York Labor Law attorney I continue to see construction workers injured due to the negligence and failure of owners and general contractors to provide the proper safety devices as required by law.

On February 1, 2013 the Fourth Department, Appellate Division released its decision in Miles v. Great Lakes Cheese of New York, Inc. in which a construction worker was injured when planks fell on him during construction. The Court held:

“With respect to the appeal, we conclude that the court erred in denying plaintiff’s motion, and we therefore modify the order accordingly. Plaintiff established as a matter of law that he was exposed to “hazards . . . related to the effects of gravity where protective devices are called for . . . because of . . . a difference between the elevation level where the worker is positioned and the higher level of the materials or load being hoisted or secured” (Rocovich v. Consolidated Edison Co., 78 N.Y.2d 509.Plaintiff further established that he was exposed to “a risk arising from a physically significant elevation differential” (Runner v. New York Stock Exch., Inc., 13 N.Y.3d 599) and that his task necessarily place [him] in a position where he was at risk of being struck by . . . falling [planks]” (Heidelmark v. State of New York, 1 AD3d 748).Specifically, Labor Law § 240 (1) was violated because the safety device at issue in this case, i.e., the scaffold frame, was not “so constructed, placed and operated as to give proper protection” to plaintiff, inasmuch as it was inadequate to protect him from the foreseeable risk that his coworker might drop the planks onto him.”

The safety of workers must the number one concern on any construction site, yet owners and general contractors who are  responsible for their safety still fail at times to provide for such. The continuation of injuries at construction sites due to the lack of proper safety equipment  shows more than ever that these laws are need to provide for their safety. Please contact us if you have been injured while working on a construction site or if you are an attorney in need of assistance with this type of case. We have the experience and knowledge to prosecute cases that provide for workers’ safety.