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Letter: Writer misstates facts regarding Scaffold Law

Writer misstates facts regarding Scaffold Law

The executive director of the Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health speaks to repeated exaggerations and mistruths of the Scaffold Law in a recent letter. He notes the law simply holds those who control a work site responsible if someone is injured or killed because they failed to provide the appropriate safety equipment. Here is a scenario to ponder that demonstrates this is not always the case.

A commercial building owner hires a roofer. The roofer, using a ladder supplied by his employer, falls and is injured. The Scaffold Law imposes absolute liability on the building owner for the roofer being injured. Please explain how the building owner controls this work site or contributed to the injury. He doesn’t, but he is liable under this arcane law. Does this law correlate to incredibly high liability rates for New York contractors with a fall from height exposure? Absolutely!

Robert Delles

Niagara Falls