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New York Labor Code for Construction Worker Safety – Part 23

“…all employers, owners, contractors and their agents and other persons obligated by law to provide safe working conditions, personal protective equipment and safe places to work for persons employed in construction, demolition or excavation operations and to protect persons lawfully frequenting the areas of such activity shall provide or cause to be provided the working conditions, safety devices, types of construction, methods of demolition and of excavation and the materials, means, methods and procedures required by this Part (rule).”


Part 23 of the New York Labor Code provides protections to workers engaged in construction, demolition and excavation. The Code requires that employers and site managers provide a safe work environment, protective gear and devices and safe tools to work with to their workers. An employer, owner, contractor and/or construction site manager can be held liable for a violation of the Code where the violation results in personal injury to a construction worker. Some of the provisions of the Code include the following responsibilities of employers, owners and contractors at construction sites:

23-1.5 General Responsibilities of Employers

According to § 23-1.5, employers are required to do three things:

  1. Provide employees with health and safety protection
  2. To designate a competent and experienced individual to supervise work
  3. Ensure all equipment and safeguards are in good repair and safe working condition

23-1.7 Protection from General Hazards

New York Code § 23-1.7 protects workers from various hazards, including slip, trip, and fall hazards and falling objects.

There are eight major hazard categories included in this section which provide construction workers the right to be protected from.

  1. Overhead Hazards
  2. Falling Hazards
  3. Drowning Hazards
  4. Slipping Hazards
  5. Tripping & Other Hazards
  6. Vertical Passage
  7. Contaminated Air or Oxygen Deficiency
  8. Corrosive Substances

23-1.8 Personal Protective Equipment
Under § 23-1.8, employers must provide their employees with proper protective equipment to ensure their safety while performing different tasks on the construction site.

Protective equipment which is required includes:

  1. Protective eye gear for employees need eye protection while cutting, welding, burning, grinding, chipping, or while working in a position in which particles may fly into the eyes.
  2. Respirators including the air supply line in which there is a filter to remove noxious vapors, oil mists, water, or pipe scale, a pressure regulating valve to specify air pressure, and air supplied from a contaminant-free source
  3. Protective apparel, including:
    • helmets or hard hats
    • proper foot protection
    • waterproof clothing, and
    • apparel necessary for exposure to corrosive chemicals or substances

23-1.16 Safety Belts, Harnesses, Tail Lines, and Lifelines
According to § 23-1.16, employers must provide construction workers with safety belts, harnesses, tail lines, and lifelines in various situations. Construction site workers must be provided with the proper training and instruction of use of the equipment to ensure maximum safety. The different requirements for each of these protective devices are specified in the Code and an employer or construction site manager can be held liable for injuries occurring when these requirements are not met.

Additionally, employers and construction site managers are required to inspect and maintain this protective equipment in a manner which ensures that the equipment is in good working condition and does not show any damage or deterioration which could materially affect the strength of such safety belts, harnesses, tail lines or lifelines.

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