Heavy equipment/machinery

Heavy equipment/machinery

On construction sites in New York, heavy equipment is often used in the demolition and construction of buildings and structures. This equipment can include dump trucks, compactors, rollers, cranes, excavators, front shovels, loader backhoes, forklifts, loaders, motor graders, rock trucks, scrapers, skid steerers, pay loaders, bulldozers, trench compactors, jumping jacks and demolition excavators.

New York State has a number of laws which have provided protection to workers on the job from being injured. Many of these injuries involve elevation-related risk. This means that a worker may fall from an elevated height or something may fall from above upon a worker. These laws are commonly referred to as “scaffold laws” or simply New York Labor Laws.

Under §240 of that law, workers are required to have safety devices such that would prevent and injury. The law requires that: All contractors and owners shall furnish or erect, or cause to be furnished or erected for the erection, demolition, repairing, altering, cleaning or painting of a building or structure, 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.

Under §200 of the Labor Law, workers must have a safe place to work. The law provides that workplaces are required to be so constructed, equipped, arranged, operated and conducted so as the provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety of all persons employed.

Further, under §241[6] of the New York Labor Law, all areas in which construction, excavation or demolition work is being performed shall be so constructed, shored, equipped, guarded, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection and safety to the persons employed.

Work sites are also governed by OSHA [Occupational Safety & Health Administration] and sometimes by municipal regulations.

Workers can be seriously injured in bulldozer rollovers, forklift collapse and failure, falling cranes, trench collapse, burn injuries, electrocution injuries, dropping and collapsing scaffolds and scaffolding. Injuries can also be caused by falling site debris, unsafe and hazardous ramps and defective work areas, equipment malfunction, machinery accidents and elevator accidents. Injuries can also occur by falling into uncovered or unguarded floor openings, all of which lack safety rails and guards.

If you are injured on a worksite, you should consult with your attorney to see if your claim would qualify under New York Labor Laws. If you are injured and cannot return to work, your claim will involve the loss of wages, the loss of any benefits you may have, the loss of future income, the current, past and future costs of medical care and your claim for pain and suffering from the injuries sustained. If the injury results in death of a loved one, you should see your attorney as soon as possible as there are time limits under which claims must be brought. These time limits are known commonly as statutes of limitation. A failure to commence a legal action within the time permitted by law will bar your action in Court.

Work sites are also governed by OSHA [Occupational Safety & Health Administration] and sometimes by municipal regulations.

So, the best rule is see your attorney early and get all of the information you need.