Construction employees working at the side of the road face a lot of risks, but none is more deadly than being struck by a passing car. While these car crashes are unfortunately common, the law does provide guidance on how to reduce the likelihood of a work zone collision.

New York Regulations for Construction Near Public Roadways

Under Section 241(6) of NY Labor Law 241, site owners and contractors must comply with any rules made by the Commissioner of the Construction Site on the Side of the RoadDepartment of Labor to make construction sites as safe as possible for workers. The Department of Labor has issued various construction safety regulations primarily found at 12 NYCRR Part 23. Within the New York Industrial Code are safety protocols for work performed near public vehicular traffic.

Under 12 NYCRR 23-1.29 the property owner, the general contractor and the employer is to take the following precautions to protect workers in road work zones:

  • Fencing. If construction, demolition, or excavation work is being performed on, over, or in close proximity to any avenue where public vehicular traffic may be hazardous to workers, the area must be fenced or barricaded in a way that directs traffic away from the area or allows traffic to be controlled by a designated person.
  • Visibility. Any designated person controlling public vehicular traffic must be provided with a flag or paddle of at least 18 inches in length and width. All flags or paddles must be colored fluorescent red or orange and mounted on a suitable hand staff.
  • Flagging. Designated persons must be stationed at a proper and reasonable distance from the work area, facing approaching traffic on the street, road, highway, or other thoroughfare. Each designated person must be properly instructed to stop and resume traffic when necessary for work. Persons must extend the traffic flag or paddle horizontally to stop oncoming traffic, and must lower the flag or paddle and signal with a free hand to resume traffic.

If you or someone you love was struck by a vehicle while working on a New York City worksite, our experienced construction injury law firm can explain your legal options—and we do not collect any fees until after your case is won. Learn more about your rights in our FREE brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone, or fill out our quick online contact form or call (800) 362-9329 to speak with a lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer today.


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