Save New York's Scaffold Law!

I read in the New York Law Journal today that a coalition of business groups has formed to once again attack Labor Law §240, known as the "Scaffold Law", and its sister Statute, Labor Law §241. The Scaffold Law has, in my humble opinion as a Central and Syracuse New York construction accident lawyer, saved countless lives in New York by holding employers and owners of construction sites responsible for workers' falls from scaffolds (among other things). The other Statute, Labor Law §241, provides additional protection, not only from falls, but for many other types of common construction "accidents" (I put "accidents" in quotes because most of them are not true accidents, but rather the result of employers and others encouraging or allowing their workers to cut corners on safety). The "new" coalition is made up of the usual suspects: The Business Council of the State of New York, the Associated General Contractors of New York State, Unshackle Upstate, and the New York State Builders Association. These guys get together every five years or so to take another whack at our dear Labor Law, so far, thank God, without success! If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try . . .. Well, you know. According to the article, the new coalition's leaders believe Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration may be more "business-friendly" than his predecessors', and that the time is right for delivering a knock-out blow to these safe construction-work statutes. And they may be right! But even if they are "right", what they are doing is wrong. They are putting profits over safety, and in my book, and I hope in Mr. Cuomo's, that's like finger nails on a blackboard. My advice to Governor Cuomo: Hey — there's nothing wrong with being a "friend" of business, but being a "friend" of safe work practices is even better. Put safety first, Gov. Thanks for listening. You can read my prior blog posts about Labor Law 240 (the "scaffold law") here: Syracuse New York Construction Accident Lawyer Looks Up And Sees Labor Laws Being Broken! Can I Be Sued If Someone I Hire To Remove Snow And Ice From My Roof Or Fix My Leaky Roof Falls? Central And Syracuse NY Personal Injury Lawyer Explains. "Worker in Geneva New York Who Fell from Scaffold Probably Has a Slam Dunk Case against Wal-Mart", Geneva New York Injured Worker Lawyer Says. Central New York Construction Accident Lawyer: Construction Workers Injured in Binghamton New York Scaffolding Collapse Have Solid Case OSHA'S Increased Construction Site Safety Enforcement in Syracuse and Central New York May Help Decrease Syracuse New York Falling Construction Worker Lawsuits. Keep safe! Mike Bersani Email me at: I'd love to hear from you! Michael G. Bersani, Esq. Central NY Personal Injury Lawyer Michaels & Smolak, P.C. 1-315-253-3293 Toll Free 1-866-698-8169

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2 Responses to Save New York's Scaffold Law!

  1. Jim Thompson says:

    I just want to make sure I’m reading this correctly. You are claiming that the scaffold law is responsible for saving lives? How does this law encourage safety? If employers are liable no matter what they do, wouldn’t they be incentivized to cut corners? Logically, if employers are allowed to benefit from providing better safety equipment and training, they will provide more of it. And didn’t we see this in Illinois in 1995? Their workplace fatality rate dropped 30% after they repealed their scaffold law. And guess what else dropped? Personal injury lawyer’s profits. No, Mike, I don’t believe the scaffold law keeps workers safer.

    Another issue: unless I misread something, it seems that the bill they are promoting would not eliminate the scaffold law. Rather, it just gives employers the chance to defend themselves when a worker is drunk or negligent. So you’re in favor of allowing drunk, negligent workers sue their employers for millions? Whats the real reason you don’t think this law should be changed?

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