Safety at a construction site must always remain paramount. This recent photograph, taken in mid-town Manhattan, reveals a suspended scaffold hanging at a precarious angle on the exterior of a large building. It does not take an expert in construction safety to understand that the worker pictured standing on the scaffold has been placed at risk of serious harm. Scaffold accidents in New York are all too common. Work on a scaffold ordinarily means a worker is doing their job at an elevated site. Clearly, when working at dangerous heights, workers are susceptible to injuries. When safety lapses take place, serious construction injuries usually follow.
The image is disturbing, but unfortunately is representative of a culture of “speed first, worker safety second”, that is commonplace in the worksites of New York and leads to thousands of injuries. The worker who was likely ordered to work from this slanted scaffold platform represents thousands of other hard working laborers, who face the daily impossible choice of either working unsafely or not working at all. That is because the owners and contractors who control these sites have the power, and dictate how much of a priority worker safety will be on any given job. If a worker complains about safety, he is often sent home and easily replaced.
That is why the legal protections for workers who labor at dangerous heights, like a scaffold, such as New York Labor Law Section 240(1), are so critically important to maintain. Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP is a construction accident law firm with a focus on representing victims of construction accidents, and has a long and proud history of obtaining maximum compensation for injured construction workers by verdicts and settlements. The firm fights for the rights of workers who have been hurt because they were provided inadequate or malfunctioning safety devices, or no safety device at all. Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP gives power to injured workers, by holding construction site owners and contractors responsible when they choose profits and speed over worker safety. Obtaining compensation for these injured workers not only provides financial comfort to the worker and his family, but also sends a strong message to the entities controlling the work site – “you will either value worker safety, or you will pay a price”. Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP also devotes substantial time and resources to fight to preserve worker safety laws like Labor Law Section 240(1), without which New Yorkers could certainly expect to see even more instances of lax worker safety. We have a long history of helping construction workers obtain significant verdicts and settlements.