How current events impact your business and real estate holdings

Showing posts with label construction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label construction. Show all posts

Friday, February 19, 2021

New Law Alert - Registry of Construction Work-Related Fatal Injuries to be Established - Ambulance Chasers Take Notice

The NYS Department of Labor is being required by a new law to establish an online database by April 22, 2021 to make available all information and data regarding all workplace fatalities in the construction industry.

Originally, this law stupidly applied to employees rather than workers and contractors, which is the standard for workers in the industry. Now, this has been fixed by new law

If you are a GC (general contractor) and you don't think that the ambulance chasers have already planned to favorite this website, you have another thing coming. It's time to button-up those safety protocols, meetings, and compliance checks. 

What are you doing to protect yourself from suit?

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

New Law Alert - Contractors Now Exposed for Alterations in Contravention of Building Code

Attention Contractors: If you help your client violate the uniform fire prevention and building code and that violation empedes a person's egress from such building during an emergency evacuation (think fire), then, you can be fined up to $7,500 under new law

This law applies to contractors, architects, subcontractors, construction superintendents, and agents.

Is this fair? Should a contractor have to tell their client no when the client wants something that violates the building code? Are contractors now code enforcement agents?

Monday, February 08, 2021

Construction GCs Should Videotape Their Worksites to Avoid Lawsuits

Typically, when a construction worker gets injured on the job from an elevated fall, it's a slam dunk case against the GC. 

In fact, Labor Law § 240(1) imposes strict or absolute liability on general contractors, owners, and their agents regardless if the injured worker is partially at fault for falls at construction sites. 

The only real defense for the GC is that the injured worker was the sole proximate cause of the accident (called the, "recalcitrant worker" defense). But, how do you prove sole cause when everyone claims different facts? 

We just learned the answer in an appellate division case, Cordova v 653 Eleventh Ave. LLC.

The case was dismissed because "Surveillance footage of plaintiff falling from the ladder demonstrates that" it was solely the injured worker's fault. The ladder didn't move or shake, it was connected to the sidewalk bridge and scaffolding above and tied to the scaffold too. 

Moving forward, GCs should video your construction sites. It can save you a fortune. 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

New Laws for Building Owners on Alterations Impeding Emergency Egress and Disposal of Construction and Demolition Waste

On December 15, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed Senate Bill 1714 into law which effectively amends Section 382 of the Executive Law. Effective immediately, the new law imposes a civil penalty of up to $7,500 on building owners who make alterations to their buildings which violate the uniform fire prevention and building code and which block access to an egress during a fire or other emergency. The penalty is imposed on building owners who have or should have had knowledge of such impediment.

Building owners must ensure compliance with the uniform fire prevention and building code or risk exposure to not only the civil penalty imposed by the new law, but also to liability for any other damages and injuries which could have been avoided if the building was up to code.

Moreover, building owners should also be aware of the new law which criminalizes the improper disposal of construction and demolition waste. Effective December 15, 2020, any person who knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally disposes of construction and demolition waste and/or hazardous substances may be convicted of a crime with fines of up to $300,000 for a class C felony, be ordered to restore the property where the wastes were released to its original state and pay for costs for the disposal and restoration of the property, twice the amount of any gain from the crime, and be subjected to any other sentence authorized by law, including imprisonment.

Friday, March 27, 2020

No More Construction - Essential Service Guidance Updated

On March 27, 2020 at 11AM, Empire State Development refined the definition of essential businesses or entities in NYS as to construction, as follows:
All non-essential construction must shut down except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site). 
Essential construction may continue and includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. At every site, if essential or emergency non-essential construction, this includes maintaining social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit. Sites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close and enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments. This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation. 
For purposes of this section construction work does not include a single worker, who is the sole employee/worker on a job site.
Be warned.