New York labor laws 200, 240, and 241 provide meaningful insurance coverage to workers injured on the job.
These statutes protect workers, as they should, recognizing that many of the construction jobs are indeed very dangerous.
Accidents & Injuries Covered Under New York Labor Laws
Beyond the above labor Law sections, intricate details of the types of jobs and dangers covered and the required safety precautions can be found in 12 NYCRR section 23 and others. The list is very complete as it should be.
The above statutes and rules are in addition to any others such as OSHA or local and county protections afforded workers and construction workers.
Workplace Protections Under the NY Department of Labor
The most dangerous jobs often involve work done at a height utilizing ladders and scaffolds. Injuries resulting from these “gravity” related dangers are easily compensable in New York courts. It is often referred to as “absolute liability”. Insurance companies have lobbied Albany for decades to scale back on these worker protections and luckily have failed again and again.
The applicable laws also protect workers from deleterious effects of noxious/dangerous fumes and dust as well as in the operation of any type of machinery.
These protections cover both full-time and part-time workers as well as union and nonunion workers equally.
Does Being A Contractor Impact Your Coverage?
These protections can result in large monetary awards above and beyond what benefits a worker can get through workers’ compensation. The lawsuits beyond workers’ compensation are often referred to as “third-party lawsuits” where all or part of the fault for the accident is the responsibility of someone other than the employer – such as the property owner, construction manager, or another contractor doing work on a site.
Recoverable damages include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of income and wages, and loss of benefits including medical and retirement benefits. In extreme cases, a worker can recover “punitive damages” that are meant to punish egregious behavior by an actor who ignores required safety procedures and guidelines.
Expectations for Your Employer
Your lawyer will necessarily consult with the union benefits coordinator and will hire a recognized economist expert to properly lay out all of your economic losses to a jury.
Of course, all of these protections are necessary and helpful but no one who is ever injured would prefer the money recovery to his or her health and well-being.
Workers should always insist that they be provided with the necessary safety equipment and never operate machinery where safety devices have been made inoperable. Contractors are often awarded for completing jobs early but that speed should never be paramount to safety.