Ladder Fall Accidents On A Construction Site In New York

Construction Accident Lawyer New York Representing Injured Construction Workers

Ladder accidents are among the most common causes of workplace injury and death in New York, particularly on construction sites. Whenever construction workers work at heights above ground level or a lower structural level, the risk of an injury or death increases dramatically. Laws and rules have been enacted in order to protect construction workers who are required to work at heights. The laws mandate that certain types of ladders or scaffolds be used for a given job and that the safety devices are properly utilized.

When Are Ladders are Required On Construction Site?

New York Labor Law section 240(1) requires contractors and owners to furnish ladders whenever necessary to give proper protection to an employee on a construction project. When a construction worker is injured because of a violation of section 240(1), the contractor or owner can be held liable for the injuries.

Ladders may also be required under the rules and regulations of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Any time there is an elevation of 19 inches or more, and there is no ramp, runway, hoist or other means of scaling the height, OSHA requires that a ladder be in place. Also, OSHA requires employers to regularly inspect and maintain ladders in a safe condition.

Where necessary, the employer should also provide a ladder fall protection system, such as body belts, harnesses, safety cages and wells. These rules apply to any portable ladder used on-site, whether it was manufactured or job-made, except for ladders used to get on or off of scaffolds, which are subject to different rules.

What type of Ladders Are Used At A Construction Site?

As an example, an extension ladder may be the safest method of performing a particular job, but only an A-Frame ladder is available. That A-Frame ladder is used and it is not long enough to perform the job safely resulting in an accident and an injury to a construction worker.

New York Labor Laws place the responsibility on both the property owner as well as the contractors of the  construction site. This is done to insure that the construction workers are given the proper working and safety equipment to perform their jobs safely. Workers at construction sites in New York are often injured because they are forced to use a ladder that is old, defective or broken leading up to the workers sustaining serious injuries. The threats of employment termination or other repercussions forces workers to use ladders and other working equipment that they know to be unsafe and unsuitable to perform their job safely.

There are many different types of ladders in use at construction sites. The ladders used include A-Frame ladders, step ladders, platform ladders, extension ladders with rubber or metal feet and rolling safety ladders. There are proper and recognized methods of use for each type of ladder. It is crucial that construction workers using these types of ladders receive the proper training which include methods of placement, set-up and use.

The Safe Placement Of Ladder At A Construction Site

Even if a ladder is the proper safety device for a given task, the placement of a ladder at a construction site must be done with the safety of a construction worker at the forefront. The ground must be safe and leveled and the ladder cannot be placed in any area where the safety of the construction worker may be compromised. An accident resulting from a ladder being improperly placed may result in a finding of a Labor Law violation against the property owners and the contractors based upon their failure to make sure that the construction workers at were able to perform their height-related job in a safe manner.

Common Causes of Ladder Fall Accidents at New York Construction Site

Some of the most common ladder falls can be attributed to the following causes:

  • An unsecured ladder is placed on an unstable, uneven or slippery surface
  • Ladder is used for something other than the purpose it was designed for
  • A-frame ladder is used in closed position
  • Ladder is loaded beyond its capacity
  • Oil or grease on the ladder poses a slipping hazard
  • Ladder is placed in a passageway where it is likely to be moved or shifted by other workers
  • Ladder is built on the job site with rungs that are crooked or unevenly-spaced
  • Ladder is placed where conductive rails may be exposed to electricity


The Rybak Firm, PLLC is a New York Personal Injury Law Firm with the resources and experience, necessary to insure that the injured construction workers represented by us receive the maximum recovery possible.  The dangers and risks associated with working at heights very often resulting in accidents and injuries to construction workers who are left suffering extremely serious and sometimes catastrophic injuries involving fractures, spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis, quadriplegia, paraplegia, traumatic brain injuries or death. Call us today (718)307-5554 24/7 or fill out a ‘Contact Us Form’ on our website for a FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced New York Construction Accident Lawyer.

Accident Attorneys Near Me

Our offices are located in Brooklyn, NY.  Although our offices are in Brooklyn, NY we represent clients in every borough of New York City. We Offer Free Transportation To and From Our Offices From Anywhere In New York City. If You Are Unable to Travel Due To Your Injury, Our New York Construction Accidents Attorneys Will Come To You To The Hospital or Your Home.  Our offices are located at:

1810 Voorhies Ave

Suite #7

Brooklyn, NY 11235

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