The Staging Area

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Q: My employer was engaged in rehabilitating several bridges that were located on a public roadway.  For use as a staging area, my employer leased a parking lot.  We were setting-up some lighting equipment for use in this project.  While I was attempting to get the equipment to my pickup truck, I tripped on debris.  My accident occurred in that parking lot, next to the roadway where the bridges were located.

A: Your attorney is likely to argue that, under section 241(6) of the Labor Law, the parking-lot owner was obliged to comply with the various safety rules made by the Commissioner of Labor.  One such rule is 12 NYCRR 23-2.1(b): “Debris shall be handled and disposed of by methods that will not endanger any person employed in the area of such disposal or any person lawfully frequenting such area.”  The owner is likely to raise at least two objections.

First, that your injury did not occur on a construction site.  Your attorney will rebut that the protections of section 241(6) extend even to areas where materials or equipment are being readied for use at a construction site.  This lighting equipment was being prepared in the staging area for imminent use in an ongoing construction project.

Second, that the owner was ‘out of possession’.  Your attorney will need to look at the lease agreement between the owner and your employer.  Even if the lease describes an out-of-possession situation, perhaps the actual conduct of the parties is not consistent with that.

In addition, to the extent that your injuries stemmed from the debris, if the owner retained control over the parking lot, and the debris was visible and apparent, and it had existed for a significant length of time, then the owner may also be liable under section 200 of the Labor Law.

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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