Labor Law 6 : Roof
Q: We were performing work on the roofs of houses under construction. One day, I was instructed to lay insulating material. I was walking along a ridge – where both sides of the roof meet – with a roll of the material on my shoulder. One side of the roof was covered with frost, and my left foot slipped. My body twisted, and my groin hit against the ridge. My back emitted a cracking sound, and I slid down the roof.
We were not provided with any safety devices. I believe that there ought to have been toe boards (which create a runway to load the roof), scaffolding and roof brackets.
A: You appear to have an excellent case under Labor Law § 240(1) – the Scaffold Law. The statute imposes absolute liability on owners, contractors and agents for their failure to provide workers with safety devices that properly protect against elevation-related special hazards.
You clearly were subject to an elevation-related risk. Under 12 NYCRR 23-1.4, you should have been provided with roofing brackets, crawling boards or safety belts. It appears that safety devices could have protected you from falling as you did. You need only prove that the failure to provide the safety devices was a proximate cause of your injuries.
By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial
The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.
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