Since its enactment in the late 19th century, the scaffold law, which absolves employees of any fault in the instance of a construction accident and places all liability on the employer, has been a source of bitter contention for many years between the construction industry and the state. The YouTube video “Manhattan Construction Insurance: Scaffold Law Basics” delves into the specifics that underlie New York’s scaffold law.
Since court cases involving interpretation and execution of the scaffold law usually end up favoring the employee, resulting in costly compensation, industry reformers seek to add a “comparative negligence” standard to the scaffold law. This will allow reduced liability for defendants when an employee’s negligence contributes to the occurrence of the accident. The push for the addition of this standard has generated heated debate since many supporters of the law claim it’s necessary for worker safety.
Worker safety in the construction industry remains a critical aspect that all construction companies and local scaffold services should prioritize due to the risks of working on construction sites. Ensuring that insurance packages cover all the workers can help mitigate stressful litigation and having to bear the cost of expensive compensation.