James T. Snyder Law, PLLC
Personal Injury Attorney


James T. Snyder Law Blog

Working at an unsafe height in Manhattan -- N.Y. Labor Law § 240.

© James T. Snyder  Photograph: construction workers high on a scaffold without safety equipment on.

On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, I was sitting in the evening on the West Side piers in lower Manhattan when I saw the actual construction scene set forth above.  I watched, dumbfounded, as the laborers worked high above the ground and water.  I could see no safety gear in use as the workers actively crawled and walked all over the superstructure while the boom trucks delivered huge loads of decking at least three or four stories up -- no harnesses, no obvious tie-offs, no warning ropes or flags at the edges of the top platform, no catch nets beneath them, no protective scaffolding. 

And no lights on at the workplace after the sun set.   

Recall the New York State statute, Labor Law § 240, which mandates the safety protections that must be afforded construction or demolition laborers working at an elevation: 

§  240.  Scaffolding and other devices for use of employees. 1.  All contractors and owners and  their  agents,  except  owners  of  one  and two-family  dwellings  who contract for but do not direct or control the work,  in  the  erection,  demolition,  repairing,  altering, painting, cleaning  or pointing of a building or structure shall furnish or erect, or cause to be furnished or erected for the performance of  such  labor, scaffolding,  hoists,  stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, and other devices which shall be  so  constructed, placed  and  operated  as  to  give  proper  protection  to  a person so employed. 

I just had to take a picture, and hoped no one would fall.

James Snyder