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Window Washing in New York City

By: David Cheverie

Washing the windows of high-rise buildings in New York City is a very dangerous and strenuous job. Workers spend countless hours hanging twenty stories in the air just to get the windows to sparkle. Unfortunately, there is a lot of opportunity for injury while performing such a perilous task. However, there are legal remedies available to help properly compensate window washers injured on the job.

Section 202 of the New York Labor Law requires that “the owner, lessee, agent and manager of every public building and every contractor involved shall provide such safe means for the cleaning of the windows and of exterior surfaces of such building as may be required and approved by the board of standards and appeals.” Additionally, any window or exterior surface of their building may not be cleaned unless such means are provided to enable such work to be done in a safe manner for the prevention of accidents and for the protection of the public and of persons engaged in such work. The New York laws thus promote an environment in which the safety of window washers is of the utmost importance. However, this does not mean that all accidents will be avoided nor that all building owners will follow these rules.

When a building owner, lessee, agent or manager of a public building does not take the proper precautions to protect the safety of the window washers, unfortunate injuries can take place. This will leave a worker with expensive medical bills and lost wages. Although workers may be entitled to workers’ compensation, which provides weekly cash benefits and medical care for workers, this is often inadequate. Thus, injured workers are left struggling to pay bills and support their families.

Thus, the best route for a worker who is injured while washing windows as a result of inadequate safety measures is to pursue a personal injury claim. A worker could be eligible to receive payment beyond that obtained by worker’s compensation, and thus feel more comfortable about his or her post-accident financial state. The attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP, frequently advocate for window washers who are victims of accidents that take place on the job. If you have been injured, call our offices at 212-779-0057 to speak with an attorney about your options.

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