New York has some of the most impressive buildings in the country, including some of the oldest and tallest skyscrapers. All of those tall buildings come at a cost to workers.

Construction professionals can and do fall while working on tall buildings, often with disastrous and even fatal results. In order to protect workers, state lawmakers have created laws that are stricter than those in place in many other states. What does the Scaffold Law in New York mean for you as a construction employer?

New York’s Scaffold Law creates strict liability

Many falls in the construction industry are preventable with proper training, scaffolding, harnesses and other safety equipment. Sadly, some companies will try to avoid investing in safety equipment if they don’t have to. In order to compel employers to invest in the training and equipment necessary to keep construction professionals safe, New York created a strict liability code under the Scaffold Law of 1885.

The law specifically requires scaffolding for workers well above ground level, but it also creates risk for companies if their workers get hurt on the job. Making sure that you have the right safety equipment and that your employees consistently use it are critical to you as a company hiring workers for construction jobs.

Reviewing safety standards and discussing your obligations as an employer with an attorney can help you ensure that you do everything possible to minimize your own liability. A lawyer can also help review your practices after an employee gets injured in order to help defend you against claims and prevent similar things from happening in the future.