Know the Law: Labor Law 240

When you work in construction, engineering or other similar fields, there's a likelihood that you'll work with scaffolding. Scaffolding helps you reach higher areas and complete work that might otherwise not have been possible.

The trouble with the use of scaffolding is that someone could fall or get hurt. Scaffolding has the potential to collapse, and people without the right gear could fall without any kind of protection against injury.

One of the New York state laws in place to protect people from the dangers of scaffolding is Labor Law 240. This law directly explains what you can or cannot do with scaffolding,

Labor Law 240

Labor Law 240 has several sections, but the second portion states that any scaffolding or staging that is over 20 feet off the ground needs to have safety railings. Those rails have to be braced or bolted and secured. They also have to be at least 34 inches above the floor or the primary section of the scaffolding or staging, so that the openings are only wide enough to allow for the delivery of materials. Additionally, all scaffolding or staging has to be fastened and secured in a way that prevents swaying away or against the building or structure.

The law also states how much weight a scaffold can hold. All scaffolding has to hold at least four times the maximum weight that you intend to use on it. So, if there will be 600 pounds on the scaffold at any one time, the scaffolding should be rated for 2,400 pounds.

Why is Labor Law 240 So Important?

This law helps guarantee that people are always given a safe scaffold to work on when it's needed, and it also requires safety steps to be taken to prevent falls. Additionally, the weight ratios make sure that no one will be involved in a scaffolding collapse from using scaffolding that is not strong enough for the job.

When you work in construction, design, architecture or other fields, knowing laws like Labor Law 240 is essential. It guarantees your safety and states who can or cannot be held responsible in the case of an accident. It details who is liable and responsible for guaranteeing the safety of people on a worksite. This is helpful if you later need to make a claim against an employer or third party.