The Barnes Firm

L.A. Rising

LOS ANGELES – Everything is looking up for Southern California. A look downtown shows commercial high rises being built. In residential areas, more homes are being built today than there were in the years building up to the economic recession. In total, Californians are investing $7 billion on new development and remodeling this year.

In a recent newsletter from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, construction is up 44 percent and billions are being spent on speedy development of hotels, apartments, condominiums, and parking. When complete, the Wilshire Grand Hotel will be 2.1 million square feet and soar 73 stories (or 1,100 feet) above the ground. The hotel is expected to cost a total of $1.2 billion and is on schedule to open by 2017.

“With all the construction happening today, it continues to be important to stress safety in Los Angeles,” construction accident attorney John Sheehan said.

Sheehan, of The Barnes Firm, said statistics show a trend of accidents paralleling the growth of the Los Angeles skyline and economy.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were over 100 deadly workplace injuries in the Los Angeles metro area in 2013 and the trend is inching closer to a record high of 149 set in 2006.

“Statistics show most workplace injuries happen in transportation incidents,” Sheehan said. “However, Los Angeles workers also have more trips, falls and slips than the average city.”

Last month, construction came to a sudden stop on the $2.1 billion Crenshaw Rail Line for four days after transportation heads recorded a series of serious safety violations. The Los Angeles Times reported a worker was spotted walking across a beam without a tether and another incident prompted a safety meeting with construction workers.

Last year, a construction accident caused a Century City parking structure to partially collapse and forced the evacuation of two nearby apartment buildings.

“There are so many rules and regulations set to make sure everyone will come home safe to their families after work,” Sheehan said. “Unfortunately, accidents continue to happen and almost every incident could have been prevented with proper oversight.”

Los Angeles construction accident attorneys said distractions continue to be a growing factor leading to today’s workplace injuries but negligence is still the top cause of accidents.

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