Serious injuries are unfortunately common on New York construction sites. In addition to being struck by falling tools or injured by malfunctioning equipment, employees can suffer irreversible injuries during comparatively low-risk activities. Even at ground level, painting, sanding, and applying chemical coatings carry specific risks. If the safety regulations set by state and local authorities to protect workers are not followed precisely, workers may be able to file a claim to recover their past and future losses.
Section 23 Regulations for Painters on Construction Sites
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 have a duty to 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. Part 23-2.8 dictates how employers should protect employees during painting work.
Part 23 requirements for painting include the following provisions:
- Confined space procedures. Painters must take special care when working in confined spaces where fumes or airborne hazards can accumulate. Confined spaces include compartments, closets, tanks, elevator cars, rooms, portions of a room, or a similarly enclosed space with no means of natural ventilation other than one entrance opening.
- Harmful coatings. Any painting in confined spaces of such dimensions that a painter is required to work inside such enclosure—including the use of coating materials, paint removers, stains, solvents and abrasives—must be performed in a way that will prevent the dissemination of such harmful materials into the air where employees or visitors are located in quantities that could potentially affect the health of such persons.
- Paint spraying. Persons engaged in paint spraying operations, as well as persons in such close proximity to these operations that they are exposed to the spray mists, must be provided with (and must use) respirators approved for the type of work. Operators of paint-spraying equipment must also be provided with (and must use) protective oil, grease, or cream on the exposed parts of their bodies to prevent harmful chemicals from being absorbed through the skin. If pain spraying work is performed in tanks, vats, or similar enclosed vessels, mechanical exhaust ventilation must be provided in addition to the required respirators.
- Brush work. Any person performing brush painting with a solution other than water-mixed paints in confined spaces must be provided with respirators approved for the type of work. When brush work is performed in tanks, vats, and similar enclosed vessels, mechanical exhaust ventilation must be provided in addition to the required respirators.
- Coating removal. Mechanical exhaust ventilation and required respirators must be provided and used in any places where coating removal is being performed with a potentially volatile solvent in a confined space.
- Machine sanding. Any person operating a sanding machine must be provided with (and must use) a respirator approved for the type of work, unless the sandpaper has been wetted with oil or water or the sanding machine is provided with a functioning dust collector.
We Help Victims and Families After a Construction Site Injury
If you or someone you love was injured on a New York construction site, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against your employer, site owner, or a third party. However, you only have a short period of time to make a claim, after which point you could lose the right to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income, disability costs, and pain and suffering.
The construction injury attorneys at Hofmann & Schweitzer have helped numerous construction workers and their families get the payment they deserve after an accident on the job. Contact us today to have us advise you on your next steps, or learn more about your rights in our FREE guide, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.