Many New York City structures could never have been built without first demolishing older buildings. Since construction workers who perform these operations face a significant risk of injury, the New York Industrial Code has specific provisions to ensure all precautions are taken before any demolition occurs.
How Negligent Preparation Can Lead to Demolition Injuries
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. Part 23-3.2 dictates how employers should protect employees preparing to perform demolition work.
Part 23 requires the following procedures before demolition takes place:
Demolition Glass RequirementsAll glass in the exterior openings of the building or other structure to be demolished must be removed before demolition begins.
Demolition Supply Line RequirementsAll gas, electric, water, steam, and other supply lines must be shut off and capped (or otherwise sealed) before demolition begins. Each service or utility company involved must be notified in writing at least 24 hours before the start of work on these lines.
Demolition Sully Line ReIfAny gas, electric, water, steam, or other supply lines must be maintained during the demolition operations, these lines must be protected with substantial coverings or relocated to prevent damage and injuries. If supply lines are to be relocated, the service or utility company involved must be notified in writing at least 48 hours in advance of such relocation.
Protecting Nearby BuildingsThe employer performing demolition must protect nearby buildings and structures during demolition. Employers must examine the walls of any buildings or other structures adjacent to the one to be demolished to determine the thickness and method of support of any wall of such adjacent buildings or other structures. If there is any reason to believe that an adjacent structure or part thereof is unsafe or may become unsafe because of the demolition operations, such operations shall not be performed until the structure is stabilized.
Demolition Fencing and BarricadesDemolition sites must be fenced, barricaded, or provided with sidewalk sheds compliant with the law.
Demolition Airborn Dust ControlEvery demolition site must have provisions to control the amount of airborne dust. This includes wetting the debris and other materials with appropriate spraying agents or other means.
Let Us Help You After a Construction Injury
If you or someone you love was injured on a New York construction site, the construction injury attorneys at Hofmann & Schweitzer can help you get the payment deserved. Contact us today to discuss your next steps, or learn more about your rights in our FREE guide, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.