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What is the law on scaffolding injuries on construction sites?

Injuries relating to scaffolding are extremely common on construction sites, and therefore scaffolding use is highly regulated. This blog summarizes the regulations on construction site scaffolding, and what to do if you have had an injury or think that a workplace has not been compliant with these regulations.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations

Federal regulations from OSHA are in place for the safety of construction sites and to prevent injuries. These regulations say that any scaffold must be tested to be able to hold four times the intended load, as well as its own weight. Suspension ropes should also be tested to ensure that they are able to hold six times their intended load. Prior to each shift, a visual inspection should also take place to ensure that no defects have occurred. All equipment, including scaffolding, harnesses and anchorage points should always be inspected before use.

The "Scaffold Law"

New York Labor Law section 240 was introduced as a response to the great risks that construction site workers face on a daily basis. The most important part of this law is that it assigns "absolute liability" to the owners of the construction site or the contractors involved. Therefore, if a worker is injured on a construction site, his or her employment status bears no relevance -- the owner or contractor has liability regardless.

If you have been injured due to a scaffolding failure or you think that a construction site may have neglected some of the regulations, it is important that you seek reliable legal advice so that your individual case can be assessed.

Source: Find Law, "Scaffold injuries," accessed July 13, 2017

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