Scaffold Law Causes Gutter Cleaning Costs to Spike

Scaffold Law Causes Gutter Cleaning Costs to Spike

Gutter Cleaning
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At Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island, we often receive questions about pricing. And as experts within the industry, we'll be the first to tell you yes, prices have increased relatively sharply over the last five years. While normal market factors tend to drive the cost of goods and services up, our industry has been uniquely impacted by the Scaffold Law.  

We've taken a moment to briefly explain the Scaffold Law, what it means to you, what you can do, and how Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island offers solutions to keep our services affordable. Continue reading to learn more about how the Scaffold Law drives certain contractor services.  

What Is the Scaffold Law? 

Exclusive to New York State, (YES, THAT’S RIGHT!!!  ONLY NY!!!) the Scaffold Law imposes absolute liability for any type of elevation-related injuries onto contractors who engage in repair, construction, or demolition work or any work from “heights”. This means a contractor can be held legally liable if: 

  • The employee is wearing unsafe equipment they aren't trained to use, 
  • The employee is drunk, 
  • The employee is high on drugs; or even if
  • The individual has no reason to be on the job site

Simply put, if a worker falls on a worksite or experiences a gravity-related injury, the contractor can be held legally liable and have to pay — no matter what. 

This archaic, blanket law makes New York the only state in the U.S. that holds contractors entirely responsible for any fall-related injuries at a worksite. In fact, there is no similar legislation anywhere in the world that compares to Labor Law 240 or the Scaffold Law. 

How Is the Scaffold Law Causing Gutter Cleaning Costs to Soar? 

While you may think you're not directly impacted, anyone who lives in New York is footing the bill for the Scaffold Law. You experience the Scaffold Law with the continually increasing costs of gutter cleaning and any other home maintenance cost associated with someone having the potential of falling, such as: 

And more - bascially, any job that may use a ladder or have an employee above 6 feet of height.

Virtually all contractors who deal with the possibility of any fall-related injury are forced to pay substantially higher general liability as well as Workers Compensation insurance costs to insure their workers. As with any type of business, increased costs are passed onto the customer. This makes the Scaffold Law the largest driver of increased gutter cleaning costs.  To give you an example, the website Scaffold Law Reform says that the law adds as much as $10,000 to cost of the construction of a home. One study even found that the law costs private New York businesses that work on public projects nearly $1.5 billion a year.

The Big Bill of the Scaffold Law

Even if you're not personally having work performed on your home, you're still feeling the effects of the Scaffold Law. And it can be significantly more expensive when it comes to public works projects like infrastructure and schools. 

According to one builder, the Scaffold Law can more than double the cost of public works construction projects. For example, a community that votes for a new $2 million school project may be completely unaware they are paying almost half of it in liability protection thanks to the Scaffold Law. In doing so, the cost inflation substantially devalues the investment you and your community will make into the future of your town or city. 

Here are a few additional eye-opening facts about the costs of the Scaffold Law: 

  • The Nelson A Rockefeller Institute of Government reports this law costs you and other taxpayers a staggering $785 million a year.
  • Labor Law 240 can add as much as a whopping $10K to the construction of a new home in New York according to an estimate by the New York State Builders Association.
  • The New York School Construction Authority (SCA)'s increased insurance costs are equal to 8 to 10 new schools over a three year period.
  • The sum of money being wasted on Labor Law 240 could be used to generate approximately 12,000 jobs, which would have bolstered the State's economy by more than $150 million.

And worst of all, injured workers are not the main beneficiaries of the Scaffold Law: attorneys and insurance companies are. 

It Is Not Just a Contractor Issue — It's an Everyone Issue

To be very clear, this isn't just a contractor issue — it's an everyone issue. If you're a taxpayer, you are affected because our municipalities, bridges, and schools are all negatively impacted due to this archaic law. The money being wasted on superfluous liability insurance could be redirected toward repairing roads, maintaining our beautiful parks, creating new schools, and putting New Yorkers back to work. Click here to send our governor and other local officials a message to help support liability reform - https://lrany.org/votervoice/.

Contact Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island

When it comes to the Scaffold Law, you are not powerless. In fact, you have volumes of power — starting with your voice. You can join the fight to protect your hard-earned money by telling Governor Cuomo to include Scaffold Law Reform in the 2020 Budget. Fair Scaffold Law reform would change the current strict liability standard to a more reasonable, fairer comparative negligence standard, which is the exact standard used in every other state, federal courts, and the majority of other areas of New York law. 

At the same time, Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island offers multiple Gutter Cleaning Service Contract options designed to help you save money. We are continuously committed to providing a valuable service at a reasonable cost.  Give us a call or complete our online contact form to learn how you can use our Gutter Cleaning Service Contract to offset the rising cost of services. 

Samantha Prairie

Samantha began her career at Ned Stevens in September 2011 as a customer service representative. After a few short years, by demonstrating leadership qualities, hard work and dedication, she moved up to Marketing & Media Supervisor. Samantha has become an expert on all of our services, from gutter cleaning to shrink wrapping and everything in between.