FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM MAY 10, 2018 • THE QUEENS COURIER 21
THE PROTRUDING PIECE
Q: At a building undergoing renovations, I was working for the flooring
subcontractor, carrying tiles down the stairway. As I was attempting to step onto
a landing, my boot encountered a piece of steel that projected several inches from
the stairwell post. The boot was pierced and caught, and I tumbled down the stairs
to the next landing. That steel piece was flat, 1½ inches long and one-eighth inch
wide. After I reported the accident, the super cut it off and threw it away.
A: Section 241 of the Labor Law imposes a nondelegable duty of reasonable
care upon owners and contractors to provide reasonable and adequate protection
and safety to various people, including workers – in areas in which construction,
excavation or demolition work is being performed. To establish a claim under
section 241, you must show that the defendant violated a rule or regulation
promulgated by the Commissioner of Labor that sets forth a specific standard of
One such regulation is 12 NYCRR 23-1.7(e)(1). It states, “All passageways
shall be kept free from accumulations of dirt and debris and from any other
obstructions or conditions which could cause tripping. Sharp projections which
could cut or puncture any person shall be removed or covered.”
A jury can rationally conclude (a) that some party to, or participant in,
the construction project was negligent in not exercising reasonable care, or not
acting within a reasonable time, to prevent or remediate that hazardous piece of
metal, and (b) that your slipping, falling and injury proximately resulted from this
negligence. That is, someone working on the renovation project either put the
metal piece there or failed timely to discover and remove it.
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