Labor Law Pointers - Volume IV, No. 2S

A Visit to the Construction Site
Or, in the alternative
‘Twas the Night Before Construction

By David Adams
(with apologies to Clement Clark Moore)

‘Twas the night before Christmas and down at the site,
Not a tradesmen there was working, no one hanging a light;
The impalement protection hung by the shaft with great care,
Just in case an OSHA inspector decided to look over there.

The power tools were locked in the biggest gang box,
While the neighborhood kids pummeled windows with rocks;
The guard in his uniform and I in hard hat,
Had just opened a bottle from an old dusty vat;

When up on the third floor there arose such a sound,
That I flew up the ladder without touching the ground.
Away to the scaffold I ran looking spastic,
Jumped into the abatement area, and tore open the plastic.

The security light, on the beams of the just ‘rected structure,
Gave a look of great progress to this new joint venture,

When what through my tempered safety glasses did appear,
But a tipped over ladder and some broken veneer,
With a little old worker, looking injured and stiff,
I knew right away that he’d become a plaintiff.

More rapid than vultures the attorneys they came,
And they pushed and they shoved and called out his name,
“No I saw him first”, and “Who tipped that ladder”,
“Oh please just stand back, I will handle this matter!”

I filed pre-suit discovery on my way over here,
Said the one from the billboard, two phones to his ear.

As squirrels before racing trucks would flee,
When faced with an accident they giggled with glee.
So up to the scaffold the attorneys they flew,
With cards, blank retainers, and golden pens too.

And then in a twinkling I saw on the floor,
A harness, a lanyard, right there by the door.
As I stepped over closer and was looking around,
Plaintiff, he donned it, with a distinct clicking sound.

It was yellow and black with a sliding back ring,
And to keep you from falling, it was just the right thing;
So there, on the worksite, a safety device,
Appropriate and available, now isn’t that nice!

His leg how he held it, his arm it looked bad,
But the issue to my mind, what instruction he’d had.
Was he told to tie off, was he told not to climb,
Was he told to have the ladder be held every time?


He had a pleasant face with a small little slice,
It bled as he rubbed it, which he seemed to find nice.

He was looking around, from lawyer to lawyer,
Asking each one “Can I sue my employer?”
With a wink and a nod, the attorney he said,
There are ways and I know them, you have nothing to dread.

We have us that statute, it’ll make you quite wealthy,
It will fill up your bank book and make you feel healthy.
We lawyers of course live just on a third,
Taking anything else, would be quite absurd.

He spoke not a word but started his notes,
With theories of gravity and dreams of new boats,
The ladder has shifted, of that he was sure,
It gave him 240, without a detour.

Plaintiff sprang to his feet and grabbing a pen,
He signed the retainer from the nice billboard men.
And I heard him exclaim “Hey I fell from a height”,
Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.


Happy Holidays to all of our readers from all of us here at Labor Law Pointers.  As luck would have it we had a situation right here in our lobby, (see photo below) garland needed to be hung, with care I might add.  It was determined that with my experience asking questions about ladders that I should be assigned the job.  Knowing the potential ramifications of this I immediately summoned the Labor Law Pointers team for advice.  Steve Peiper was unfortunately home with the plague caught from his kids so I was without his sage advice.  Jennifer Ehman immediately stepped up and held the ladder to prevent any injury, her real reason for helping I think was so that she did not have to write my portion of the newsletter should I be injured.  Chris Potenza and Marc Schulz stood back and contemplated the situation, but only after pointing out to me that there was a safety harness available to me right on the counter, that it was an appropriate safety device and that I was hereby instructed to wear it.  Wonder what they meant?

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have called with “situations” and encourage any of you who have not done so to feel free to ask me, or any member of our team, any question labor law related, we are here to help and it is never a bother to us.

I also want to thank my team, Steve, Jen, Chris and Marc for their support and help in getting this newsletter out every month.  They are fantastic attorneys and friends. 



Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!



Labor Law Team

            David R. Adams, Team Leader                                            Steven E. Peiper
            [email protected]                                                             [email protected]

            Dan D. Kohane                                                                      Cassandra A. Kazukenus
            [email protected]                                                            [email protected]

            Michael F. Perley                                                                 Jennifer A. Ehman
            [email protected]                                                           [email protected]
            V. Christopher Potenza                                                        Marc A. Schulz
            [email protected]                                                            [email protected]


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Phone:  716.849.8900
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