Urging the Governor to issue a 12-month moratorium on the Scaffold Law

NYCSRA URGES THE GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK TO USE HIS EXECUTIVE POWER AND ISSUE A 12-MONTH MORATORIUM ON THE ABSOLUTE LIABILITY PROVISION OF THE “SCAFFOLD LAW” WITH RELEASE OF VIDEO


How this antiquated law is hampering New York State’s economic recovery, and how this “fix” can release billions of dollars into the struggling economy and create thousands of jobs.



Watch the video


Following up on our urgent written appeals to Governor Andrew Cuomo asking him to use his executive authority to issue a 12-month moratorium on the “absolute liability” provisions of the “anachronistic and inequitable” “Scaffold Law”, the NYC Special Riggers Association has released a video titled “New York Billion Dollar Fix 2020” (BillionDollarFix.nyc).


The statute, comprised of New York Labor Law sections 240/241 and commonly known as the “Scaffold Law,” holds contractors, property owners and their agents, absolutely liable for any gravity-related injuries sustained by a worker, irrespective of gross negligence on the part of the worker.


The video, which is supported by a broad coalition of New York City and State construction, real estate, and non-for-profit organizations, explains the origins of the law in the late 1800’s, when worker protections were scant at best, and goes on to show how the creation of governmental agencies and the advancement of worker rights and protections since it was enacted, have made “Scaffold Law” not only obsolete, but have also turned what was intended as a shield of protection into a sword of abuse.


At the heart of the argument, the video explains how the Governor of New York has a unique opportunity to help jumpstart the economy. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic state of emergency, the Governor can use his executive authority to issue a 12-month moratorium on the provisions of the “Scaffold Law” from absolute strict liability to comparative fault and save billions of taxpayers’ —and private businesses— dollars in insurance costs. These billions can be better invested in the badly needed infrastructure projects and help generate thousands of jobs in the construction industry and other businesses in the state, without affecting any of the workers’ rights and protections in place.