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Why New York's scaffolding law is so important

As many New Yorkers know, scaffolding has a complicated presence in our state. Now, obviously, on a literal level, scaffolding isn't that complicated. It provides necessary structure for construction workers when they are on the job. Without scaffolding, construction workers wouldn't be able to reach certain heights and precarious areas on buildings. And without scaffolding, many projects would go unfinished.

But from a legal perspective, scaffolding is very complicated in the state of New York. Contractors and construction agencies believe that New York's scaffolding law is far too punishing, while construction workers are certainly in favor of the law.

What New York's scaffolding law says is that the contractor or construction site manager is solely responsible for victims who are injured in a fall or by falling objects if it can be proven that they did not provide necessary equipment or safety training.

Under this definition, even people that aren't employed by the contractor or construction site manager could still be covered by the absolute liability. As you can see, there is a clear financial reason why construction companies are not in favor of New York's scaffolding law.

Nonetheless, New York's scaffolding law has persisted for many years, and it affords injured workers some needed justice in the wake of such terrible injuries. That is what seems to get lost in all of this, at least coming from construction companies: the workers truly need this financial help after they get hurt. Construction is an unforgiving and very dangerous industry. Without the help granted by New York's scaffolding law, many workers would be in a lot of trouble.

Source: FindLaw, "Scaffold Injuries," Accessed Nov. 4, 2015

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