Thomson Reuters:Advocates Call for Scaffolding Law Reform

An article recently published in Thomson Reuters News & Insight discusses ‘Scaffold Law‘ reform:

“Tort reform advocates and some state lawmakers are renewing a push to overhaul New York’s controversial scaffold law, which imposes absolute liability on employers and property owners when construction workers are injured in elevation-related accidents.

New York is the only state in the country with such a law on its books. Labor Law Section 240(1) requires contractors and property owners to provide workers with any equipment necessary to prevent falls or injuries caused by falling objects, including scaffolding, ropes, ladders and pulleys. Employers who violate the law can be held strictly liable, regardless of whether an employee contributes to the accident.

A bill to amend the law, currently being considered by the legislature, would replace the absolute liability standard with one that apportions negligence among all parties in cases in which the injured worker’s conduct contributed to the accident. The proposal would apply to accidents ’caused by the use of drugs or alcohol, the failure to use safety equipment, the failure to comply with instructions or training…or the failure to comply with safe work practices’.”

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