Workers cleaning windows on the outside of buildings face the real danger of falling from extreme heights if they are not provided with proper safety equipment, if weather conditions are extreme, or if the scaffolding used is inadequate or defective.
New York law has several provisions that seek to protect workers who clean windows and exterior surfaces of buildings.
Labor Law § 202 specifically applies to workers who clean windows and the exterior parts of buildings, and Labor Law § 240 (1) applies to workers engaged in “cleaning” a building.
Under Labor Law § 202, owners, lessees, agents, and managers must provide safe means to enable workers to perform these tasks, including providing personal protective devices, harnesses, safety lines, scaffolds, and other appropriate equipment to maximize worker safety and minimize hazards in the dangerous work of window washing.
Labor Law § 240 (1), also known as the “Scaffold Law,” places the responsibility on contractors and site owners to ensure that proper safety practices and equipment are provided, including scaffolding and other safety equipment such as harnesses and lifelines.
It is important to note that it is not the responsibility of the workers. The applicability of these sections and other regulations depends on the type of work being performed and the building itself. For example, Labor Law § 202 does not apply to buildings six stories or less, while Labor Law § 240 (1) does not apply to one- and two-family dwellings.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to an accident while washing windows, you should speak with attorneys who are fully aware of the protections in New York City laws and regulations for workers who clean windows outside of buildings.
If you or someone you know has been injured on a construction site call Gorayeb & Associates at 646-542-1247 for a free consultation.