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Fastening, Weight and Fall Protection: The Three-fold Requirement for Scaffolds

November 20, 2015 Construction Accidents,Scaffold Accidents

Under the specific terms of New York’s labor law, scaffolds have to meet various criteria in order to be considered safe. Lack of proper safeguards leaves a company liable in various kinds of work injury situations. Because New York law has its own unique and stringent rules on scaffold work injuries, it’s easy for companies or contractors to be held liable for a case where someone falls from an unsupported or insufficient scaffolding setup.

Experts identify three precise requirements for scaffolding setups on a construction site.


One of the key rules on scaffolding is that scaffolds need to be securely fixed or fastened to a structure, and properly supported on the ground. New York Labor Law 240, also called the “scaffold law,” addresses various protected cases where workers are building or maintaining tall structures. Here, it’s explicitly stated that scaffolds need to be securely fixed and supported in order to provide safety for workers.

What that means is that scaffolds can’t just be set up and thrown onto an uneven or insecure surface. They can’t just be set up randomly and allowed to sway or topple due to external pressures. They have to be in a safe and serviceable condition in order for the company to avoid liability. Companies that cut corners, for example, by using thin sheets of plywood or other materials to temporarily “prop up” a scaffold, learn this the hard way.

Weight Rating

Scaffolds also need to be weighted for certain pressure loads. This prevents work injury situations where scaffolds give way and send workers tumbling to the floor. This requirement is also written into New York Labor Law 240 and gets carefully reviewed by New York courts.

Safety Railings

Another provision of New York labor laws require scaffolds to be barred or railed at both ends. This criterion provides protection against cases where individuals may fall off of the side or end of a scaffold unit.

These details are just a part of the complicated ways that injury lawyers and defense lawyers will address a work injury situation. New York courts have ruled on many small details involving how work structures were set up, what safety precautions were in place, what safety gear was offered and exactly what a worker was doing at the time of injury. Injured construction workers rely on personal injury lawyers to really look at the facts of the case and educate them about how courts handle all of these complex legal criteria. The result can mean the difference between a successful personal injury case and an unsuccessful one.

New York City Construction Accident Lawyers Can Help You — Call Us Today

Were you or someone in your family hurt in a New York City construction injury accident? Call the experienced accident lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff. We have experience helping New York City families deal with the process of bringing a personal injury or wrongful death case against various parties in the state of New York. Let us help you fight for justice under the law.