If you work in construction here in New York, you don’t likely need anyone telling you how dangerous your work in this industry can be. Work on any building can be hazardous. Fall risks are at the top of that list in terms of dangers workers face.
“Falls” can refer to two different phenomena. It has to do with workers losing their footing and falling from one height to a lower one or while navigating a site. This often occurs because construction companies fail to equip their workers with adequate safety equipment or training. This concept also refers to objects that may fall, striking a worker, injuring them.
What are New York fall laws?
New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules spell out how the responsibility for maintaining reasonably safe premises belongs to the individual or entity controlling a property.
The New York State Labor Law section 240(1) specifically applies to construction workers and injuries they may suffer when a colleague drops an object on them. This law describes how there is an absolute liability in such instances.
Steps that injured workers should take following a fall incident
Any worker injured in one of the above-referenced fall incidents may qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim. Whether they’re able to do so depends on how their injuries occurred and their employment classification. Workers may qualify to file third-party claims in addition to workers’ compensation ones.
The best thing that you can do if you suspect that you have a valid workers’ compensation claim is to tell your boss about it so that they can draft an incident report. You should also see a physician approved by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board.
If you ultimately find yourself needing to file a third-party claim, then you’ll want to keep in mind the statute of limitations in your case. New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules Section 214 allows you three years to file such a lawsuit.
It can be confusing determining whether to file a workers’ compensation or third-party lawsuit following a fall injury incident on a construction site. You may benefit from reading up on New York’s many different fall, workers’ comp and personal injury laws in determining what action to pursue in your case.