Materials Being Hoisted Onto a Construction SiteMaterial hoists pose a triple threat to construction workers: falls from open or unguarded entrances, overhead injuries from unsecured materials, and struck-by injuries from swinging buckets. Our New York construction injury lawyers explain state regulations to protect workers during material hoisting operations and how violations of these laws could aid your compensation claim.

NY Industrial Code Provisions for Material Platforms and Bucket Hoists

NY Labor Law 241 requires owners and contractors to make construction sites as safe as possible for workers. Under Section 241(6), owners and contractors must comply with any rules made by the Commissioner of the Department of Labor to carry out the provisions of the law.

The Department of Labor has created specific construction safety rules in Part 23 of the New York Industrial Code to protect people employed in construction, demolition, or excavation work. N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. Tit. 12 § 23-6.3 set forth the following guidelines for material platforms and bucket hoists:

  • Foundations. Material hoist towers must be supported by a firm foundation that adequately distributes the intended load without exceeding the safe load-bearing capacity of the supporting soil.
  • Tower guys. Every tower must be secured with guys or rigid braces at each corner at intervals of no more than 26 vertical feet. Guys must be at least one-half inch diameter improved plow steel wire rope and securely fastened to proper anchorages with wire rope clips.
  • Erection and dismantling. Material hoist towers may only be erected or dismantled under the direct supervision of a trained and qualified person. Timber hoist towers may only be erected only to the height necessary to perform the work. Metal hoist towers must not be erected more than 50 feet above the highest portion of the structures used as suitable anchorages for guying such towers.
  • Unenclosed exterior hoistways. Unenclosed exterior material hoists must be enclosed at the ground level to a height of at least six feet. Entrance openings of these hoistways must be provided with compliant gates or bars, except that sliding bars may be used in place of hinged bars. Gates or bars must be kept closed whenever the car is hoisted. Any loading side of these cars must be provided with a self-closing gate at least 66 inches high and constructed of the same material as the car enclosure.
  • Entrances. Substantial gates must guard all entrances for material hoisting above the grade entrance. Gates must be painted fluorescent orange or yellow and kept closed when the car is not present. Gates must guard the entire width of the entrance openings when closed and be at least 36 inches high. Gates located less than two feet from the hoistway line must be at least 66 inches above the floor surface. A wood or metal bar may be used to guard the grade entrance of the hoistway only.
  • Hoist cars. Cars used for material hoisting must be enclosed from floor to crosshead and be provided with overhead protection to prevent injuries from falling objects or materials. Platforms must be supplied with securely fastened blocks and cleats to prevent wheeled vehicles from rolling and equipment from shifting.
  • Operators. The operator of a hoisting machine with a material platform or bucket hoists must have overhead protection equivalent to tight planking not less than two inches thick supported to develop its full strength.
  • Walkways. Hoistways may not be partially or wholly over sidewalks, passageways, or other thoroughfares accessible by pedestrians unless a broken-rope safety device capable of stopping and holding the platform or bucket with its rated load is provided.
  • Riding. No person may ride on a material hoist except when it is necessary for inspection, maintenance, or repairs. Signs reading WARNING—RIDING BY ANY PERSON PROHIBITED in letters at least one and one-half inches high must be posted in conspicuous locations on both sides of the crosshead and at every entrance to the hoist.

Let Our New York Construction Injury Attorneys Help You

If a material hoist or platform hurt you or someone you love, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits or damages through a third-party claim. Contact the skilled attorneys at Hofmann & Schweitzer today at 800-362-9329 to have us explain your options at no cost to you, or learn more about your rights in our FREE guide, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.


Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.
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