Construction sites are dangerous places, and using a power saw can result in serious injuries. Because of that New York's Industrial Labor Laws require that all saws and power tools at construction sites be in a reasonably safe condition, including having proper safety guards.
For example, most power saws are required to have a movable guard which covers the saw blade to such an extent that it will prevent body parts coming into contact with the teeth. Depending on the type of power saw it may also be required to have a spreader to prevent kickback, have a cut-off switch within easy reach of the operator, have blades which are sharp and maintained free of burrs and mushroomed heads, and be grounded during use.
Power saws on construction sites can cause severe injuries including loss of fingers, limbs, and deep lacerations, especially when they don't have proper guards, or the guards have been removed. Owners of property, and General Contractors, have a responsibility to maintain a safe workplace which includes providing tools and equipment, in accordance with the requirements of New York's Labor Laws and Industrial Codes.
Thus, in NY, an owner or GC can be liable for injuries caused by an unsafe power saw, regardless of who provided the saw, or even if the worker himself brought the unsafe saw onto the job. The owner or GC can be liable for injuries caused by an unsafe power tool, saw or condition on the job, even if they did not have notice of the danger. Such is because, the owner and GC have non-delegable duties to make sure that a there is not a violation of NY's Labor Laws and Industrial Code.
However, an owner of a one or two family residential home, used for non-commercial purposes, would not be liable for a worker's injuries unless the homeowner provided the saw or directed how the worker performed the work.
The NY law protecting construction workers from injuries from unsafe power saws and tools is Labor Law Section 241(6) which states as follows:
All contractors and owners and their agents, except owners of one and two-family dwellings who contract for but do not direct or control the work, when constructing or demolishing buildings or doing any excavating in connection therewith, shall comply with the following requirements:
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6. All areas in which construction, excavation or demolition work is being performed shall be so constructed, shored, equipped, guarded, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection and safety to the persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places. The commissioner may make rules to carry into effect the provisions of this subdivision, and the owners and contractors and their agents for such work, except owners of one and two-family dwellings who contract for but do not direct or control the work, shall comply therewith.The specific rules governing saws, power tools, and other equipment can be found in New York's Industrial Code. If you, or someone you know, is injured on a construction job due to a power saw, which was missing a guard, or by any power tool which was in an unsafe condition, you should contact a New York Personal Injury Lawyer experienced in handling construction cases, saw cases and unsafe construction equipment cases. Zalman Schnurman & Miner is a NY Personal Injury Law Firm experienced in handling construction cases, saw cases and unsafe construction equipment cases. For a free consultation call 1-800-LAWLINE (1-800-529-5463). All consultations are free, and all cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, so there is no fee if there is no recovery.