In New York, construction site owners, contractors and their agents must comply not only with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations but also those set out in Rule 23 of the New York State Industrial Code.
OSHA regulations play an important role in ensuring that a work site is safe.
OSHA can conduct inspections, issue citations and fine employers who violate regulations. This provides an incentive for employers to comply with OSHA rules.
However, in terms of seeking compensation for a construction injury, OSHA regulations do not play as big of a role as one might imagine. For instance, to bring a claim under Labor Law § 241(6), you must show that a violation of a specific, concrete provision of the NYS Industrial Code occurred. An OSHA violation cannot be cited in support of a Labor Law § 241(6) claim.
You can rely on the violation of an OSHA regulation to assert a claim under Labor Law § 200. However, that violation can only serve as evidence of negligence. The violation does not "automatically" constitute negligence and entitle you to a recovery.