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When Are Ladders Required on Construction Sites?

November 3, 2021
ladder on construction

Accidents involving ladders are some of the most common and some of the deadliest construction accidents that happen in NYC. Whenever you are working either above or below ground level on a construction site, you are at dramatically increased risk of being seriously injured, and the law addresses this concern with strict safety standards related to when ladders are required and to how they are used. If you have been injured in a construction accident involving a ladder – or the lack thereof – you need an experienced New York construction accident attorney in your corner.

New York Labor Law: Section 240

The State of New York takes safety seriously and specifically addresses the matter of when ladders are required in New York Labor Law section 240, which requires employers of construction workers to furnish ladders whenever it is necessary for the safety of their construction workers. If you are injured as a result of the contractor, building owner, or homeowner failing to provide you with a ladder as outlined in this law, the negligent source can be deemed liable. Accidents on construction sites related to ladders are often caused by the following:

  • The absence of a ladder when one is called for
  • The wrong ladder for the job at hand
  • Old, rickety, broken, defective, or poorly maintained ladders

OSHA Weighs In

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also has a thing or two to say about ladder requirements on construction sites. Anytime construction workers work at an elevation of 19 inches or more – and there is no runway, ramp, hoist, or another mechanism for getting up and down – a ladder is required. OSHA also requires contractors to regularly inspect the ladders they use on the job and to maintain them in safe working order.

Common Causes of Ladder Accidents on Job Sites

Every ladder accident involves its own set of unique circumstances, but ladder accidents can often be grouped into the following basic categories:

  • When an unsecured ladder is used on an uneven, slippery, or otherwise unstable surface
  • When a ladder is used for a purpose other than the purpose it is intended for
  • When a ladder is loaded down with more weight than it is intended to bear
  • When an A-frame ladder is used in the flat position
  • When the ladder poses a slipping hazard due to oil or grease on it
  • When a ladder is shoddily built on the job site
  • When a ladder is placed in an area that serves as a passageway – leaving it vulnerable to being moved or shifted by foot traffic
  • When a ladder is placed in unsafe proximity to electrical exposure

An Experienced New York Work Accident Attorney Can Help

The skilled attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman in New York take great pride in their decades of experience, which backs their commitment to aggressively advocating for your claim’s most favorable resolution. Your case is important, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 212-285-3300 today for more information about how we can help you.


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