Can An Injury at Worksite at Ground Level Be Considered Due to Difference Between Elevation Level of Required Work and a Lower Level ?
In DeLong v. State St. Assocs. case (211 AD2d 891) DeLong had been working on a series of outdoor terraces at levels which echeloned downward.
He fell from one terrace in the series to a lower one.
The Court held that each terrace was a work site, that each terrace was at an elevation and, therefore, that the fall was covered by section 240 (1).
The appellate court affirmed stating: "for while DeLong's worksite was at ground level, his injury nevertheless resulted from a 'difference between the elevation level of the required work and a lower level' (Rocovich v. Consolidated Edison Co., 78 NY2d 509, 514)" (DeLong, 211 AD2d, at 892).
This sentence, while facially contradictory, must be interpreted to mean that some jobs, performed at ground level, may fall within the terms of the statute if the particular "ground level" site is itself poised at an elevation above some perceived project base line.
No such circumstance is present in this case. the darkened basement room is, in no sense, an elevated work site.