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Can I Sue My Employer for Not Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on a Construction Site in NYC?

Posted in Construction Accidents on June 9, 2022

Can I Sue My Employer for Not Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on a Construction Site in NYC?

Construction work can be dangerous. Workers face many hazardous situations that could lead to severe injuries. However, having and using the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) can reduce the risk of injury or death from construction accidents

State and federal laws require employers to provide certain personal protective equipment (PPE) to construction workers. If your employer fails to provide the required PPE and you are injured, you might be able to sue your employer for damages. 

What Is Personal Protection Equipment?

PPE is the equipment used by workers to reduce the risk of hazards that can cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. Personal protection equipment can include a wide range of equipment, including:

  • Safety glasses
  • Earplugs
  • Gloves
  • Vests
  • Hard hats
  • Steel-toed boots
  • Respirators 

Safety equipment should be in good condition and fit correctly. Employers should require construction workers to wear PPE when on a construction site. Employers may be required to provide training in PPE use on the construction site.

Employers Must Provide PPE to Employees on Construction Sites

OSHA regulations outline the PPE that must be provided for construction workers. 

For example, employers must provide employees working in areas where there is a possibility of a head injury from falling objects or impact protective helmets. Likewise, employers must provide ear protective devices when reducing the notice levels or duration of exposure is not feasible.

According to 12 CRR-NY 23-1.5, employers, owners, and contractors must provide personal protective equipment for employees performing work of any kind in construction, excavation, or demolition. Personal protective equipment is defined in 12 CRR-NY 23-1.8 as:

  • Eye protection 
  • Respirators
  • Head protection
  • Waterproof clothing
  • Protection from corrosive substances
  • Foot protection if the employer is required to work or pass in mud, water, wet concrete, or other wet floorings

Generally, employers are not required to provide everyday clothing that provides protection, such as long pants. In addition, they are not required to provide prescription glasses, regular work boots, or everyday weather protection. 

What Happens if I Am Hurt Because My Employer Failed to Provide Required PPE?

It is crucial to seek legal advice after a construction accident. Common construction accidents include:

Most work injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation laws prohibit workers from suing their employers for damages.

However, several New York labor laws could give a construction worker the right to sue the property owner, contractor, or subcontractor for damages. If your employer failed to provide the PPE required by law or the PPE was damaged or non-functional, you could have a claim against your employer. 

If you sustain a work injury, report the work injury to your employer. Document the injury, including the fact that you were not provided with PPE to perform your job. If you have evidence that you requested PPE and did not receive it, make copies of the requests for a lawyer. 

Then, talk with a construction accident lawyer as soon as possible. The attorney can confirm whether your employer is required to provide PPE by law. If so, the lawyer can help you sue your employer for damages. 

Why Would I Want to Sue My Employer for Failing to Provide PPE in NYC?

Workers’ compensation does not compensate you for all loss of income. It also does not compensate you for other damages, including pain and suffering.

However, a personal injury lawsuit can result in additional compensation. You could receive compensation for damages such as:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Disabilities and impairments
  • Loss of income and benefits
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Decrease in quality of life
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Personal and nursing care
  • Rehabilitative therapies

Construction workers have the right to a safe working environment, even though construction work can be dangerous. Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe work environment. Part of providing a safe work environment is providing personal protection equipment when hazards cannot be eliminated on the job site. 

A construction site is extremely hazardous. Therefore, workers must have adequate PPE to reduce the risk of life-threatening and catastrophic injuries. Failing to provide required PPE for employees could result in liability for the employer if an employee is injured or killed on a construction site. 

Contact Our Construction Accident Law Firm in New York, NY

If you need legal assistance, contact the NYC construction accident lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.

We have two convenient locations in New York:

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #409
New York, NY 10123
(212) 564-2800

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242
(718) 802-1600