The Apprentice

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Q: I was an apprentice electrician.  My supervisor directed me to perform some electrical work on a ‘pull box’ hanging from a ceiling.  No one was assigned to help me with the work.  No one provided me with a safety device.

I carried an A-frame ladder over to the pull box.  It was hanging from a ceiling in an open space, without nearby walls.  After making sure that the area beneath the pull box was clear of debris, I completely opened the ladder.  I then pulled down on the ladder’s hinges, which locked into place.  I then conducted a visual inspection of the ladder, which revealed no cracks and that the ladder’s feet were level with the concrete floor.  I then shook the ladder and was satisfied that it was stable.  I then ascended the ladder.  After checking the area to make sure that no one was beneath me, I began to work on the pull box.

For the next few hours, I performed my work without incident.  The work required me to focus my attention upwards, inside of the pull box.  At some point while I was working, an unidentified man pushing a loaded dolly past my ladder caused the dolly to come into contact with the ladder, and the impact caused the ladder to tip.  It did not fall to the concrete floor, but, rather, came into contact with a nearby air conditioning duct.  I lost my footing and grabbed onto a metal rod extending from the ceiling, twisting my body in order to reach the rod.

A: The Labor Law imposes a nondelegable duty upon owners and general contractors, among others, to provide safety devices necessary to protect workers from risks inherent in elevated work sites.  You must establish that a violation of this law was a proximate cause of your injuries.  From what you tell me, it seems clear that the Labor Law was violated and that the violation 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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