ALBANY, NY– Hundreds of advocates from both the public and private sector are urging Governor Cuomo and legislators to take action and reform the unfair absolute liability standard of century-old Scaffold Law. That provision of the Scaffold Law drives up to cost of every public and private construction project in New York because building owners and contractors are held “absolutely liable” for “elevation related injuries,” regardless of the facts of the case, or the real liability for the injury. Scaffold Law Reform advocates are supporting bi-partisan legislation sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle and Senator Patrick Gallivan (A.3104/S.111).
On Tuesday, February 12th advocates ascended on the State Capitol in Albany for a Scaffold Law Reform Advocacy Day to meet with elected officials and voice their support for rational reform to the Scaffold Law.
The Scaffold Law is an anachronism that continues to exist at the expense not only of the construction industry, but also the economy, state and local governments, school districts, small businesses, farmers and taxpayers. Public projects, like upcoming the Tappan Zee Bridge rebuild, cost more in New York due to the absolute liability standard, severely limiting New York’s ability to keep infrastructure safe and rebuild effectively after events like Superstorm Sandy.
New York remains the only state in the nation with such an absolute liability standard. A comparative market analysis demonstrates that insurance costs on public and privately financed construction projects would be significantly lower with scaffold law reform. New York’s Scaffold Law predates the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Workers’ Compensation Law, state regulations, local laws, and construction industry best practices that provide rigorous safety protections to workers. ”