Understanding New York Scaffolding Laws

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, scaffolding accidents are responsible for nearly 4,500 injuries and more than 60 deaths in the United States every year. Several construction sites require the erection of scaffolding to enable workers to reach high-level structures when building, renovating, or painting. Although scaffolding can be very helpful to reach elevated heights during construction jobs, the potential hazards associated with scaffolding often cause serious construction accidents and other work-related incidents.

If you're a construction worker who has been injured on the job site while working on scaffolding, it is imperative that you consult with a knowledgeable New York personal injury attorney immediately to protect your rights. Our experienced workers' compensation attorneys at Raskin & Kremins can offer you comprehensive legal guidance and educate you on the process of filing an injury claim. We can assess your unique situation and determine all possible legal options to seek compensation for your injuries or lost wages. We are proud to serve construction accident victims throughout New York City, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, and Queens, New York.

What Constitutes Scaffolding on the Jobsite?

A scaffold is an elevated work platform that is often used by construction site workers to elevate themselves, equipment, and materials, when building, painting, or renovating a structure. Unfortunately, scaffolding accidents are very common in New York and unfortunately are responsible for a large number of construction accidents across the state.

Common Causes of Scaffolding Accidents

Some of the most common causes of scaffolding accidents include:

  • Poorly constructed scaffolding
  • Scaffolding constructed with defective parts
  • Missing support pieces
  • Lack of adequate fall protection
  • Poor maintenance
  • Collisions with scaffolding support beams
  • Overloaded scaffolding platforms

Types of Accidents that Occur on Scaffolding

Some of the different types of accidents that can occur on scaffolds include:

  • Falls from scaffolding
  • Being hit by objects falling from scaffolding
  • Scaffolding structures collapsing
  • Slips and trips from scaffolding

What Types of Workers are at Risk?

A variety of different industries use scaffolds to execute their job. The following workers may be at an elevated risk of scaffolding accidents given the nature of their work:

  • Bricklayers
  • Electricians
  • Carpenters
  • Painters
  • Welders
  • Maintenance workers
  • Steeplejacks
  • Window washers

What are the Most Common Scaffolding Injuries?

Depending on the nature of the accident, workers can suffer from a variety of different injuries that range in severity. Whether the accident involves a fall from scaffolding, being hit by objects falling from scaffolding, or a scaffolding collapse, workers can face serious personal injuries, including:

  • Spinal cord injuries (paralysis)
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Severe injuries to internal organs
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Severe lacerations (deep cuts)
  • Fractures (broken bones) or dislocation
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Loss of or damage to a bodily organ
  • Amputations
  • Death

Understanding New York Scaffolding Laws

The NY Scaffolding Law (contained in New York State Labor Law § 240/241) requires that contractors, property owners, and agents directing the erection, repairing, demolition, painting, altering, or cleaning of a building or structure must provide scaffolding and other safety devices so as to give adequate protection to workers.

Some other provisions of the law include:

  • Scaffolding situated more than 20 feet above the ground must be equipped with a safety railing rising at least 34 inches.
  • The railing must be securely fastened to the scaffold to prevent it from swaying from the building.
  • The safety railings must enclose the entire length of the outside and both ends of the scaffolding.
  • The scaffolding must be capable of holding four times its maximum weight.

Additionally, the NY Scaffolding Law imposes "absolute liability" for scaffolding accidents or elevation-related injuries on contractors, property owners, or parties responsible for managing and assigning the project.

How to File an Injury Claim in New York

In order to recover damages when injured in a scaffolding accident, the victim or their legal representative may file:

  • Workers' compensation claims to recover workers' compensation benefits for injuries and other expenses.
  • Personal injury claims or lawsuits against a 3rd party for their negligent or reckless actions, which led to the scaffolding accident.
  • Wrongful death claims when the victim dies from the construction accident.

Possible Compensation

The damages that may be recovered include:

  • Reimbursement for medical expenses
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Lost wages
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages
  • Burial expenses, funeral costs, and loss of consortium for wrongful death claims

How the Attorneys at Raskin & Kremins Can Help

Being involved in a scaffolding accident or losing a loved one can bring about significant long-lasting ramifications to your financial, physical, and emotional health. The good news is, you don't have to face these challenges alone. If you or a loved one has been injured while performing work on a scaffolding or construction site, it’s important that you consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney immediately to protect your rights. 

At Raskin & Kremins, we are committed to providing outstanding legal services and compassionate representation for clients facing personal injury and construction accident-related legal matters. Our attorneys can help with the following:

  • Fight to protect your rights and represent your best interests
  • Conduct a thorough investigation and review every detail of your case and 
  • Gather every necessary piece of evidence to prove your eligibility to recover compensation
  • Determine whether to file a workers' compensation, personal injury, or third-party liability claim
  • Handle all communication and negotiations on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your recovery
  • Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company
  • Appeal any workers' compensation claim denials

Contact Raskin & Kremins today to schedule a one-on-one consultation with experienced Texas scaffolding accident attorneys. Our team will fight compassionately to protect your rights, represent your best interests, and help you pursue fair financial compensation for any injuries, damages, or lost wages. We proudly serve construction accident victims throughout New York City, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, and surrounding counties.


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