There are a wide variety of jacks used to temporarily raise ceilings and platforms on construction sites. Mechanical jacks (such as screw jacks) are commonly used for automotive purposes or holding lighter loads, while pneumatic jacks use compressed air to move, lift, or push heavier materials. Hydraulic jacks, such as floor jacks and bottle jacks, can lift much heavier loads using compressed water.
Unfortunately, any one of these jacks has the potential to collapse, causing severe or fatal injuries to workers below. In order to prevent construction deaths and crush injuries, New York State sets specific rules that employers and site owners must follow—and gives workers the right to file claims when injuries occur.
New York Construction Regulations for Jack Use
Under Section 241(6) of NY Labor Law 241, site owners and contractors must comply with any rules made by the Commissioner of the Department of Labor to make construction sites as safe as possible for workers. The Department of Labor has since created Part 23 of the New York Industrial Code, which specifically includes rules governing mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic jacks.
Under Part 23-1.27, the following safety protocols should be put in place to prevent jack injuries and sudden collapse:
- Supervision. The use of any jack must be under the direct supervision of a designated person at all times.
- Capacity marking. The rated load capacity of every jack must be legibly marked in a conspicuous location on the jack. This may be done by casting, stamping, etching or other permanent means that will not affect the structural integrity of the jack.
- Lubrication. All jacks shall be maintained and properly lubricated.
- Overtravel. All jacks must be provided with a positive stop to prevent overtravel.
- Blocking. When the object or structure requiring jack lifting has been raised to the desired height, the object or structure must be immediately blocked or cribbed.
If you or someone you love was hurt by a jack while working on a New York City construction site, 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.