Are you a worker who has been injured in an accident related to window cleaning? If so, you may be entitled to compensation beyond workers’ compensation benefits. New York City has no shortage of skyscrapers and other tall buildings. The windows and exterior glass panes of these buildings often require cleaning. Without proper scaffolding and protective devices, window washers can suffer serious injuries and even death. At Oresky & Associates, PLLC, our Queens and Bronx construction accident lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of the New York Labor Law and how it applies to window washing accidents.
Since workers who clean buildings often are required to work at great heights, it is crucial that these workers are provided with proper safety gear, training, and supervision. Accidents related to cleaning can happen in a number of ways, including:
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New York Labor Law Sections 200, 202 and 240, and 241 allows certain injured workers and window washers to file a civil lawsuit for compensation in addition to pursuing Workers’ Compensation benefits that are available through the injured party’s employer. If a property owner or contractor is found liable under any of the sections of the Labor Law, they will be required to compensate the worker for all of the harm and financial losses that resulted from the accident, such as medical costs, lost wages and benefits, and pain and suffering.
New York Labor Law Section 200 imposes liability on a property owner or general contractor that fails to provide a safe working environment for workers on the job site. An owner or contractor is responsible for an accident that was a result of a dangerous condition of which it knew or should have known.
New York Labor Law Section 202 requires property owners, property managers and contractors for buildings to provide safe means for cleaning or washing windows and exterior surfaces. Under this section an owner, property manager or contractor can be liable for failing to furnish safety devices that protect persons engaged in window cleaning or washing.
New York’s “Scaffold Law,” which is found in Section 240 of the New York Labor Law, protects construction workers who are at risk of injury or death from elevation-related activities, including workers who perform commercial window cleaning of a building or structure at a height. Specifically, Section 240 provides protection to workers who are injured as a result of falls from a height or as a result of a falling object. This law places responsibility for the safety of workers on property owners and contractors, which must provide workers with proper safety equipment for height-related tasks. Even if the worker brings their own tools, it is still the property owner and contractor’s responsibility to make sure that the worker has adequate ladders, scaffolds, harnesses, and anything else that the worker would need to do their job as safely as possible.
In addition, a worker may have a cause of action under New York Labor Law Section 241(6) if they can establish that their cleaning or washing windows was done in connection with construction, excavation, or demolition work and their injuries were caused by a violation of the New York State Industrial Code. The Code outlines a number of safety standards, which owners and contractors must rigorously obey. These include standards for using scaffolds, ladders, and other protective devices.
If you have been hurt in an accident related to commercial window cleaning, our work injury attorneys may be able to help you. At Oresky & Associates, PLLC, we can meticulously investigate the circumstances of your accident and provide you with diligent legal representation at every step of the way. If your injury is preventing you from being able to visit our office, we will be more than happy to come to your home or to the hospital. Members of our team are bilingual in Spanish, which allows us to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking clients about the details of their case. We proudly serve accident victims in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, as well as Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties. For your free consultation, you can call us at (718) 993-9999 or contact us online.