Construction workers in New York have some of the most dangerous jobs. They are expected to work with large machinery, heavy equipment and at soaring heights. It's not hard to imagine how a worker could become injured on a construction site.
Right now, New York construction workers are protected by the scaffold law. Under the scaffold law, the company in charge of a project is responsible for ensuring that workers are safe. If a worker is injured because a company did not provide proper training or adequate protection from injuries, an injured worker can seek compensation.
Unfortunately, some people are lobbying to do away with the scaffold law.
Unsurprisingly, companies in the construction industry are major opponents of the scaffold law. Construction companies and others argue that the scaffold law protects workers too much, allowing them to collect compensation even when injuries are a result of their own actions, which is not true. Others say that it will negatively affect the construction industry in our state, but numbers show that New York has added construction jobs.
Doing away with the scaffold law, would quite clearly have a serious impact on the lives of injured workers and their families. Without the law, it would be difficult for workers to hold negligent employers accountable for providing unsafe working conditions. The scaffold law allows workers to obtain compensation that goes toward medical expenses and lost wages that are the result of a workplace accident. Hopefully lawmakers keep this in mind as they decide whether to keep or do away with the scaffold law.
Source: New York Daily News, "Be Our Guest: Keep New York's scaffold law," Gary La Barbera, Jan. 8, 2014