Most buildings in New York City have elevators that help take people up to the top of large high rise buildings. When these structures are first erected, workers take on the strenuous and dangerous task of installing the elevators. Additionally, when these buildings are being upgraded, the elevators often need to be improved as well. Unfortunately, many workers end up getting injured throughout the course of their work on elevator shafts. However, there are legal remedies available to provide compensation for those laborers who are hurt on the job.
Section 241-A of the NY Labor Law covers the protection of workmen in or at elevator shaftways, hatchways, and stairwells. The statute states that, “Any men working in or at elevator shaftways, hatchways and stairwells of buildings in course of construction or demolition shall be protected by sound planking at least two inches thick laid across the opening at levels not more than two stories above and not more than one story below such men, or by other means specified in the rules of the board.” Additionally, the statute lists ten different regulations that all building owners must comply with to ensure the safety of workers who are working on elevators.
Although the New York laws encourage building owners to take proper precautions to ensure the safety of those working on their elevators, oftentimes the rules are not followed. When this occurs, there oftentimes are accidents that cause serious injuries. This will leave a worker with expensive medical bills and lost wages. Even though 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 working on an elevator as a result of inadequate safety precautions taken by building owners 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 elevator shaft workers 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 a construction accident attorney about your options.