Insurance and construction industries are fighting to weaken or repeal the scaffolding law which protects workers from falling and getting injured or dying.
The law’s real name, Labor Law 240 is intended to protect workers from the number one cause of injury and death in the construction injury, falls from scaffolding. Under the law, owners of constructions companies are required to supply safety equipment to their workers. If the law is repealed, they would no longer be required by law to supply that equipment. The law is straightforward:
All contractors and owners and their agents, except owners of one and two-family dwellings who contract for but do not direct or control the work, in the erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of a building or structure shall furnish or erect, or cause to be furnished or erected for the performance of such labor, scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, and other devices which shall be so constructed, placed and operated as to give proper protection to a person so employed.
The Department of Buildings in their annual report found 39 percent of accidents in 2014 were caused by workers falling.