New York labor law imposes absolute liability on owners or general contractors at construction sites, requiring that they “furnish or erect…scaffolding, hoists. stays…and other devices” to provide protection to workers employed in “erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing a building or structure.” The law also requires owners or general contractors to take other steps to protect the safety of workers, including keeping a job site free of debris or other objects that can lead to injury (See Labor Law § 241 (6)).
But what if you were working on a job site and were instructed not to use certain equipment, but did anyway, and suffered injury? Do you still have a right to recover for your losses or have you forfeited that right?
If you have been hurt on a construction site because you used equipment, tools or machinery that you were told was unsafe, you want an experienced lawyer to protect your rights. At the office of Jacob Oresky & Associates, PLLC, we have aggressively protected the rights of personal injury victims in New York for more than 20 years, including people hurt on construction sites. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 718-993-9999.
Your Rights When You Neglected a Safety Instruction
According to the courts, a worker who fails to follow a specific safety instruction is known as a “recalcitrant worker.” Though the courts have stated a general rule that a contractor or owner will not be liable for injuries if the worker’s conduct is the sole cause of an accident, the court has been clear that the contractor or owner must provide a safer means of completing the work. If the employer warns the worker not to use certain equipment, but fails to provide a safer alternative, the employer will still be considered in violation of Labor Law § 240 (1), and will be liable for injuries sustained. The courts have consistently ruled that it is the responsibility of the owner or contractor to provide and place appropriate safety devices on a job site, not the responsibility of the worker.
In summary, if you have been hurt on a construction site because you used certain dangerous or defective equipment, you may still have a right to compensation, even though you were specifically told not to use the equipment, if the owner or contractor failed to provide safer alternatives.
Contact Attorney Jacob Oresky & Associates
We have protected the rights of personal injury/accident victims in New York for more than 20 years, including people who have been injured in construction site accidents. We are prepared to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To arrange a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 718-993-9999.