Rochester D&C: Outdated Scaffold Law desperately needs reform

By Rick Herman, CEO Rochester Homebuilders’ Association

Imagine a roof worker sawed a hole around himself on the job, fell through and broke his leg. Let’s say the construction company he works for trained him beyond all requirements, provided safety equipment and had an expert patrolling the worksite to warn of danger.

Is it fair for that construction company to be held 100 percent responsible for his injuries?

If you’re like most people, the answer is no. The worker should bear some responsibility for ignoring training and acting recklessly. But according to a 19th-century-era statute called the Scaffold Law, the construction company could be totally responsible for his injuries even before a jury has a chance to weigh in. It is a senseless law that only exists in New York and devastates the Rochester economy. If state lawmakers care about a prosperous future for upstate, they must reform the job-killing Scaffold Law.

Read the full op-ed here.

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