Scaffolding collapses in New York have been known to be caused by gusts of 35 miles per hour winds that can displace pieces of plywood acting like sails and bring the entire structure down. Scaffold collapses in the past have caused life-altering and fatal injuries; notably, the collapse that killed five construction workers nearly two months after 9/11. Construction is constantly occurring all over Manhattan, and scaffolding and sidewalk sheds are a common sight. But who is in charge of inspecting scaffolds for safety, and who can be held liable when a construction worker or pedestrian is injured in a collapse.
The Department of Building’s Scaffold Safety Unit is in charge of overseeing the installation, use, and dismantling of all suspended scaffolds, supported scaffolds, and sidewalk sheds in New York City. However, it is the construction company’s responsibility to perform daily inspections before the scaffold is used. The results of these inspections need to be recorded in a log book that is kept on the construction site. The Scaffold Safety Unit can stop by any time to inspect the log book and cite the construction company if an entry is missing.
New York City has unique and highly-debated laws concerning liability in scaffold accidents. The original law is over 130 years old and was instituted to protect workers and civilians from the danger of scaffold accidents that were increasing in number during the city’s burgeoning high-rise construction boom. The law has been revised over the years, but its concept has essentially stayed the same—that contractors and property owners are responsible for injuries and losses suffered by workers and pedestrians in a scaffold accident.
For more information about scaffolding laws, feel free to contact HURT-511 and our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.
HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.