Backhoe on a Construction Site New York City SafetyHeavy machinery is one of the most common factors in a New York construction injury. If you were hurt by a backhoe, bulldozer, conveyor, or other material-handling equipment, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An employer or site owner who violated state regulations could be liable for negligence.

NY Industrial Code Provisions for Power Shovels, Backhoes, and Conveyors 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 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. N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. Tit. 12 § 23 9.3 and 9.4 set forth the following general provisions:

Construction Worker Safety Around Conveyors and Cableways

  • Walkways. Walkways near conveyor belts must be kept free of materials and unobstructed for their entire length. These walkways must have a compliant safety railing if they are more than three feet above the ground or equivalent surface.
  • Trippers. If trippers are used to control material discharge from conveyors, devices for throwing the belt drives into neutral must be installed at both ends of the runways.
  • Spillage. If conveyor belts cross over any sidewalk, street, highway, or any other area where persons may work or pass, trays of sufficient size to catch spillage from belts must be installed.
  • Overhead protection. If persons work or pass directly beneath a conveyor, compliant overhead protection must be installed.
  • Signal system. Signal systems must be used in conjunction with conveyors for starting and stopping and to raise and lower loads.
  • Riding prohibited. No person may ride any conveyor belt, bucket, or load handled by any cableways.

New York City Heavy Equipment and Backhoes Regulations for Material Handling on Construction Sites

Safety regulations for backhoes and conveyors on construction sites in New York City are crucial to ensure the well-being of workers and the general public. These regulations are in place to prevent accidents, injuries, and fatalities associated with the operation of heavy equipment. Adhering to these guidelines is not only a legal requirement but also essential for maintaining a safe work environment.

General Operation

Loads lifted by power shovels and backhoes must be raised in a vertical plane to minimize swing during hoisting. Equipment may not travel with a suspended load (except on permitted surfaces), and carrying or swinging suspended loads over areas where persons are working or passing is prohibited. Unauthorized persons are not allowed in the cab or immediately adjacent to any equipment while in operation, and ignition locks must be provided to prevent the unauthorized use of the equipment. When operating equipment near power lines or power facilities, special care must be taken.


If power shovels and backhoes are used for material handling, this equipment must be constructed, placed, and operated to be stable. Equipment may not be stressed beyond its manufacturer-directed capacities.


Equipment must be thoroughly inspected by designated persons at least every three months. Inspection and repair of each machine must be performed with the motor stopped and the boom lowered and adequately supported. A written, dated record of the most recent inspection of each device must be made on a form supplied by the commissioner, signed by the designated person making the inspection, and kept on the job site available for examination by the commissioner.


Each machine must have a firm, level, and stable foundation. If footing is not supplied, it must be provided by substantial timbers, cribbing, or other structural members in sufficient number and size to distribute the load without exceeding the safe bearing capacity of the underlying material.

Hoisting Mechanism Brakes and Locking Devices

Loading equipment must be provided with brakes or equivalent devices capable of sustaining one and one-half times the maximum rated load at rest. Hand or foot-operated brakes or comparable devices must have substantial locking mechanisms to lock the brakes when engaged.

Attachment of Load

Equipment loads must be suspended from the bucket or bucket arm by a wire rope with a safety factor of four. Wire rope may be connected by a closed shackle or a safety hook capable of holding at least four times the intended load. A load may only be lifted if it is within the maximum capacity specified by the manufacturer.


No modifications that affect the load handling capacity of these machines may be made unless the change is certified by the equipment manufacturer or a professional engineer licensed to practice in the State of New York.

Learn Your Options After a New York City Area Construction Injury

If you or someone you love was hurt while working on a construction site, the attorneys at Hofmann and Schweitzer could determine who could be liable for your injury costs. Call us today at 800-362-9329 to have us explain your next steps at no charge to you, or read 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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