Construction Materials Being Hoisted in the AirAny work at height can be potentially deadly for construction workers. Just as state laws govern the use of cranes, scaffolds, and heavy machinery, they also set forth safety recommendations for material hoisting equipment. Our New York construction injury lawyers explore state regulations to protect workers from hoisting injuries and who could be held liable for violating these safety codes.

Material Hoisting Provisions Under the NY Industrial Code

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 set forth the following general requirements for material hoists:

  • Maintenance. Regular inspections are required to ensure that material hoisting equipment is in good repair and operating condition. If identified safety defects cannot be corrected immediately, defective equipment must be removed from the job site. No repair, cleaning, or lubricating of machinery may be done unless the machinery is at rest.
  • Operation. Hoisting machines must be constructed, installed, and secured to prevent tipping or dislodgment. Only trained and designated persons may operate hoisting equipment, and operators must remain at the controls while any load is suspended. Riding on material hoisting equipment, including loads, buckets, slings, balls, or hooks, is prohibited.
  • Loading. Equipment may not be loaded over the live load for which it was designed and should be properly trimmed to prevent dislodgment of any load portions during transit. Suspended loads must be adequately balanced and securely slung before hoisting.
  • Signal systems. Operators and signallers may use manual signals, telephone communications, or visual or audible signal codes to stay in contact while hoisting materials. If manual or visual signals are used, the signalman and hoist operator must have a clear and unobstructed view of each other at all times. If audible signals are used, the signals must be capable of being heard above the average sound level in the area at all times. A bell system must be provided and used if loading or unloading is done at more than one level or where the hoist operator cannot see the signalman. The maximum distance between the signalman and the operator is 80 feet.
  • Protection of hoist operator. The operator of a hoisting machine must be provided with overhead protection equivalent to tight planking not less than two inches thick if an overhead hazard exists. The area or space occupied by the hoisting machine and its operator must be protected from the elements and heated in cold weather to a temperature of at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Moving parts. All points of contact between moving parts of power-driven hoist equipment must have safety-compliant guards installed. Tag lines must control loads with a tendency to swing or turn freely during hoisting.
  • Hoist brakes. Brakes capable of stopping and holding 150 percent of the hoist's rated capacity must be provided for every material hoist. Manually-operated material hoists must be equipped with an effective pawl and ratchet capable of holding the rated load capacity when such a load is suspended. Electric motor-driven material hoists must be provided with a mechanical automatic motor brake or device which will automatically stop and hold 150 percent of the hoist's rated capacity in case of power failure.

Compensation and Justice for Injured New York City Construction Workers

If a hoist seriously hurt you or someone you love on a construction site, the attorneys at Hofmann & Schweitzer are waiting to advise you on your options.

Contact us today at (800) 362-9329 to begin building your injury case 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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