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Could COVID Construction Boom Mean Greater Risk for Workers?

Though the majority of the world has slowed or even stopped in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, construction has actually sped up.

The city of Los Angeles, specifically, is experiencing a construction boom the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1980s.

According to research from CBRE, there were 39.5 million square feet in the Los Angeles new construction pipeline, made up of a mix of office, industrial, and multifamily properties. There were also 127 million square feet in proposed projects.

While these numbers can mean great things for developers, construction companies, and even families looking for housing, what do they mean for construction workers who are already facing great risk of injury?

Expect More Housing and Skyscrapers

The majority of the new construction in LA is multifamily housing. As reported by CBRE, about 135 million square feet of apartment buildings are either planned or already under construction. The increase in housing is great news for local families, as LA has long been experiencing a housing shortage.

Developers are also seriously investing in vertical constructions. CBRE also reported that 57% of new buildings that are planned or already under construction are at least five stories, but back between 2000 and 2009, only 21% were above five stories. This new trend is almost certainly because the city is already stretched thin on the ground, and the only place people can go is up.

The Numbers Will Only Go Up

According to experts, we’re only seeing the beginning of this boom as there is a serious backlog of construction demand in both commercial and private sectors. The amount of new construction is also expected to increase as developers that have been held off due to difficulties securing financing during the economic downturn will begin to get the money they need to break ground.

As for COVID-19, developers aren’t all that worried. If they begin work on a new build today, they won’t come to market for at least two years. By that time, hopefully, the pandemic will be a thing of the past.

What About the Workers?

While these construction statistics are wonderful for many people, they do mean that workers are facing a lot more risk. Construction has always been a dangerous industry, with serious accidents happening all too frequently. This increase in work does unfortunately mean a related increase in the risk of construction site accidents involving heavy machinery, cranes, electrocution, falls, scaffolding, and more.

While some of these accidents are because of worker error or pure accident, some are because of poor safety conditions or preventable mistakes. In these cases, the injured worker may be eligible for damages beyond worker’s compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

Ellis Injury Law Can Help

If you or someone you love was injured in a construction accident, Ellis Injury Law can help.

We have over 20 years of experience fighting for the rights of construction workers in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Working with a Los Angeles construction accident lawyer at our firm puts you in the best position to get the compensation you deserve.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about what Ellis Injury Law can do for you.

Construction Accidents, Workers’ Compensation, & Third-Party Claims in California

construction site

A typical construction worker has a 75% chance of sustaining a disabling injury on the job over the course of a 45-year career. Hundreds of California workers are injured on construction sites each year. Worse yet, there is a 1 in 200 risk of fatal injury, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Between 50 and 70 California construction workers die in workplace accidents annually.

The dangers are many – from heavy machinery and staggering heights, to hazardous electrical equipment and toxic substances. Workers can fall, get struck by objects, become electrocuted, inhale toxins, or fall, causing disabling injuries to the spine, brain, eye, bones, and lungs. 

Most California construction workers are protected by the state workers’ compensation system, which provides “no-fault” benefits to the employee, while protecting the employer from a costly lawsuit. When the injuries are substantial, the amount paid for a workers’ compensation claim may not be enough to cover the medical bills, lost income, and hardship faced. California construction workers may be eligible to file third-party personal injury claims to recover damages in some cases.

How California Workers’ Comp Can Help Injured Construction Workers

California workers’ compensation will typically cover:

  • Reasonable and necessary medical treatment – Doctor’s visits, tests, medication, surgery, hospital stays, ambulance rides, travel costs (54 cents per mile), and physical rehabilitation are often covered by workers’ compensation. Disputes may arise when the insurance company refuses to pay for what they deem to be “experimental” treatments or “above and beyond” care. Sometimes this decision can be overturned with the help of an experienced attorney.
  • Wage loss reimbursement – Financial compensation is given when workers cannot fully support themselves during treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery. Typically, workers receive two-thirds pay. How long a person receives wage replacement depends upon the severity and duration of the injuries.
  • Vocational training – You may be eligible to receive education and training to work in a new field that pays a meaningful wage if your injury prevents you from resuming work in construction.
  • Death benefits – Spouses and dependents can receive financial compensation for funeral and burial costs, as well as weekly payments when a construction worker breadwinner dies as a result of a workplace catastrophe.

To be eligible for workers’ compensation, you need only prove that the injury occurred at work, you were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and that you did not otherwise intentionally cause your own injury.

How A Third-Party Liability Claim Can Help Injured Construction Workers in California

A lawsuit, or third-party liability claim, typically covers:

  • Medical expenses – The same medical expenses that workers’ compensation covers applies here.
  • Lost wages – You are entitled to seek 100% wage reimbursement (minus taxes) for past time off work, as well as for future reduced work capacity or loss of income.
  • Pain and suffering – An estimated amount of money is awarded to compensate for intangible losses, such as mental anguish, depression, the physical aches and pains of disability, loss of enjoyment in life, shortened life expectancy, loss of consortium, and present limitations on activity, 
  • Death benefits – Survivors are eligible for funeral and burial cost reimbursement, as well as income replacement and an estimate for loss of guidance, companionship, and household services. Survival causes of action may be additionally filed on behalf of the decedent to cover outstanding medical debts, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering endured prior to death.

Your case may be eligible for a third-party liability claim if another person’s negligence, recklessness, or malicious wrongdoing causes the accident that led to the injury. While employers are generally protected by workers’ compensation, other potentially liable parties do not share such protections.

Who Can Be Sued in a Third Party Claim Following a Construction Accident?

Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, third party liability can be ascribed to:

  • Motor vehicle manufacturers – when a vehicle has a manufacturing defect that leads to injury.
  • Motor vehicle maintenance personnel – when an improper vehicle repair leads to injury.
  • Tool or equipment manufacturers – when faulty manufacturing causes product failure and harm.
  • Chemical manufacturer – when a chemical did not contain proper warnings about known risks.
  • Subcontractor – when the property owner or general contractor allowed hazardous work conditions.
  • Coworker – when grossly negligent, reckless, or intentional acts cause injury.

To succeed in a third-party lawsuit, your legal team must prove the third party owed you a duty of care; that they breached that duty of care; and that the breach was the cause of your injuries. Third-party construction claims typically commonly arise from workers injured due to motor vehicle accidents, defective equipment, faulty stairwells/lifts, electrical hazards, lead poisoning, asbestos, collapsing trenches, fires, and explosions. 

When Can You Sue Your Employer?

Generally, you can’t sue your employer when an injury is sustained on-the-job. This is why workers’ comp exists after all, but there are several noteworthy exceptions to the rule:

  • Your employer doesn’t have the state-mandated workers’ comp insurance – The state has set aside a special fund to help eligible injured employees whose employers do not carry mandatory workers’ compensation insurance to help provide for your expenses during recovery. However, the benefits may be reduced, so construction workers may also pursue a settlement from the employer via a third-party claim to cover the gap.  
  • Your employer was GROSSLY negligent – If you can secure proof that your employer broke the law, failed to provide necessary training and safety equipment, or intentionally created hazardous conditions in the workplace, you can still sue for damages.
  • Your employer assaulted you – “No-fault” doesn’t apply when your employer physically attacks you in the workplace. You cannot sue if the employer injured you in self-defense, but you can certainly file a lawsuit if your employer came after you.

What To Do If You’ve Been Hurt on a Construction Site

  • Seek medical care. Seeking immediate medical attention is imperative, no matter what you decide to do. Even if you “feel fine,” it is always best to get your injuries documented by a medical professional.
  • Be mindful of deadlines. You must report injuries to your employer within 30 days of sustaining them in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation. You must fill out a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC1) within a year. If you elect to file a third-party lawsuit through a personal injury lawyer, you have (in most cases) up to two years from the date of injury.
  • Stand up for your rights. If you are denied or feel you are unfairly compensated through the workers’ compensation program, it is worth speaking with a California law firm that can advocate on your behalf so that you can focus on your recovery.

Ellis Injury Law provides free case reviews for construction site accidents, so you have nothing to lose in exploring your full set of options. We will help you identify potential areas of liability and pursue any legitimate third-party claims. You only pay us for our services if and when we secure a settlement on your behalf. Contact us today.

3 Major New Construction Projects in Los Angeles

Major new construction activity is taking place all over California, keeping pace with the hum of economic activity generally. The 5 largest projects that began in 2017 all had budgets of over $1 billion, according to ENR California.

Although new construction is happening everywhere in the Golden State, with a $1.4 billion California High-Speed Rail Authority in the Central Valley region and new construction at the University of California at Merced, the Los Angeles area is home to some of the most exciting new developments. Here are 3 of the largest.

The Los Angeles International Airport

Los Angeles International Airport has begun the first phase of the $1.4 billion Midfield Satellite Concourse and the Delta Skyway project. The opening of the Tom Bradley International Terminal 5 years ago (itself a $1.9 billion project) spurred the demand for expansion and modernization of the entire airport complex — demands that have been building for the past decade, according to planning officials.

The airport also has plans for as-yet-unrealized programs, including modernizing landside access, developing an automated people mover, and building a new facility for rental cars.

Oceanwide Plaza, downtown Los Angeles

The increasing popularity of downtown Los Angeles has driven the development of the mixed-use Oceanwide Plaza, a more than $1 billion project that will bring 1.5 million square feet total to a 4.6-acre site across from the Staples Center.

Ultimately, Oceanside Plaza will be 3 hotel and condo towers placed on top of a retail and parking complex 8 stories high. The site has employed from 900 to 1,300 construction workers.

The complex will be 49 stories in total, 675 feet. It will provide 120,500 square feet of retail space and parking.

The Ribbon of Light, Sixth Street Viaduct

In 2016, the city of Los Angeles demolished the Sixth Street Viaduct, a city landmark that was 3,500 feet in length.

It’s replacement, The Ribbon of Light, is widely viewed as a potential iconic landmark for the city. It will stretch over the LA River, the arts district, the 101 Freeway, and a couple railroads.

But it’s how it stretches that will make it a symbol of LA. Ten pairs of continuous arches framing the viaduct are planned, making a notable profile. It will be 100 feet wide and a bit over 3,000 feet in length.

It is slated to be completed in 2020.

If You Need a Seasoned Southern California Construction Site Lawyer

New construction is exciting, and a sign that the economy is vibrant. New construction is good news for people who work in the building trades and their families.

But construction trades jobs can also be dangerous. Workers can fall from scaffolds high in the air. They may be hit by falling debris. They can be electrocuted, or struck by construction machinery. And those are only some of the hazards construction workers face.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a construction accident, call a seasoned Los Angeles construction accident attorney at Ellis Injury Law. We have been successfully investigating and litigating construction site accidents for more than 20 years.

Call us today at 310-641-3335 for a free consultation.

Additional Resources:

  1. Kilpatrick, Christine. “California Top Projects Show Region’s Construction Market Still Sizzles.” ENR California. March 26, 2018.
  2. Kilpatrick, Christine. “Massive High-Rise Project Finds Room to Grow in LA. ENR California. March 26, 2018.

Summer Is The Season For Construction Accidents

It is estimated that around 120 construction workers die every year when doing road construction. The shocking part of that statistic is that almost half of those deaths are caused by other construction workers. Summertime means road construction, and road construction means worker safety issues. When you understand why these construction accidents happen, it becomes easier to prevent them.

When Construction Sites Become Danger Zones

Road construction sites become dangerous for many reasons. Construction vehicles are equipped with back-up alarms that are supposed to warn workers when a truck is backing up, but those alarms become background noise in a work area where car horns can be heard constantly.

When a road construction site is on the opposite side of the flow of traffic, workers are usually forced to park in an area that has them crossing many lanes of traffic to get to the job site. The process of moving workers and equipment into the work area becomes dangerous for everyone involved.

Construction companies should invest in backup cameras for their trucks and put together safe ways to move workers and equipment from parking areas to the work site. When safety details are planned out properly, it can prevent accidents.

Danger From A Distracted Public

It is estimated that 10 percent of the construction workers who are killed on road job sites are struck by distracted drivers. Many of these victims are already in harm’s way to try and help direct traffic. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of non-construction vehicles crashing into work sites and killing workers. The only way it can stop is if the public decides to pay attention to construction warning signs and slow down at job sites.


Road construction is considered high risk work, which means that there should be some form of safety training every day before the shifts begin. Constant safety training reminds workers to be vigilant in looking out for each other, and being careful when they are dealing with the public

Dress Codes

When road construction workers wear dark clothing, then that jeopardizes worker safety. Construction companies should have defined and strict dress codes in place that involve bright-colored vests to help workers to stand out more for drivers passing by, and other workers on the job site.

Regulate The Use Of Sunglasses

During the summer, construction workers become accustomed to wearing sunglasses or goggles with tinted lenses to protect their eyes from the sunlight. But when there is no sunlight, wearing tinted lenses can create a serious worker safety issue. Construction companies should get used to regulating the use of sunglasses and making sure that workers put safety over style.

Be Extra Vigilant When Supervising Night Work

Many construction companies work shifts around the clock to get road projects completed by their deadlines. This means night work, and that brings a whole new set of responsibilities. Supervisors need to be sure that every worker is wearing their reflective clothing and that workers are well-rested when the shift begins. A loss of focus during night work on a road construction site creates a serious safety hazard for every worker.

The statistics show that road construction during the summer is dangerous for workers and the public. Construction companies need to take the necessary steps to prevent construction accidents and enhance worker safety during these busy months. If you are effected by this type of accident, call a Los Angeles construction accident attorney to get on your side.

Author Bio:

Michael Monheit, Esq is one of the founding lawyers of Monheit Law, P.C®. where they are dedicated to the protection of individual rights. The firm specializes in birth injury, brain damage, brachial plexus injuries, negligence and malpractice lawsuits.

3 Causes of Electrocution on Construction Sites

Los Angeles Construction Accident LawyerConstruction sites can be dangerous places. Workers are at risk for falls and for being caught between objects. But one of the most pressing dangers construction workers face is electrocution.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) compiles a “Fatal Four” report of the most common construction site accidents and electrocution is on the list.

What causes electrocution on construction sites? Here are the 3 most common causes.

Overhead power lines

Overhead power lines are the most common cause of electrocution.

Metal ladders and lifts are frequently used on construction sites. If they come into contact with overhead power lines, the workers on them run the risk of electrocution.

Because of this danger, OSHA has very firm requirements about overhead power lines. Workers should be a minimum of 10 feet from overhead power lines containing a maximum of 50,000 volts. They should include an additional 10 feet and 4 inches for every increment of 10,000 volts beyond 50,000.

Workers on a site near power lines may sometimes assume that the power lines have been deactivated or de-energized. It’s very important never to assume that the power lines are safe.

Extension cords

Extension cords that are improperly maintained and improperly used can become conduits for electrocution.

Extension cords on construction sites often have to extend around window sills, doors, and unfinished surfaces. These can exert wear and tear on even heavy industrial cords beyond the norm. The surfaces can fray and expose the interior. The plug-ins can become unsafe.

Extension cords need to be regularly inspected as part of safety precautions on the site. They need to be replaced if they begin to show signs of wear or damage.

Damaged or Defective Equipment

Equipment that is either damaged or defective can also pose a risk of electrocution. Equipment needs to be inspected frequently to ensure it is safe to operate. If it has become damaged due to hitting an obstacle or being used improperly, it needs to be removed from active service and inspected.

California construction accident attorneys

The Los Angeles area is home to thousands of construction projects every year. It’s part of what makes our area vibrant and full of growth.

But tragedies can happen on construction sites throughout southern California. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction site accident, Ellis Injury Law is here to help. We offer tenacious, results-oriented advocacy and will never settle for less than you deserve.

Call our offices today for a free case review with construction accident lawyers Los Angeles has come to trust.

Resources on Electrocution Risks on Construction sites:

  1. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Workplace Safety and Health Topics. Electrical Safety.



7 Reasons Construction Accidents Happen

Along with mining and logging, construction ranks among the most dangerous industries to work in. The latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that some 180 workplace fatalities took placed in southern California last year, including Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and Orange Counties.

Many of these deaths occurred on building sites, where long hours, challenging work environments and heavy equipment make for a perilous mix.

Construction’s Fatal Four

Most of us are familiar with OSHA’s “Fatal Four” in the construction sector – the top 4 causes of construction worker injury and death.

These are: falls, struck by object accidents, electrocutions and caught in-between accidents. On any given year, falls account for the lion’s share (nearly 40 percent) of all fatalities on building sites. Many of these falls happen at high elevations, and those who are fortunate enough to survive often do so with catastrophic injuries.

According to OSHA, some 100 construction workers are killed in the U.S. every year after being hit by an object on the work site — usually a piece of heavy equipment, building material or power tool.

The third most common cause of accidental death at construction sites is electrocution, which happens when a worker or a piece of equipment he or she is handling comes in contact with a live energy source or power line.

Crush accidents are also another risk factor for anyone working on a construction site. This can happen when heavy machinery rolls over, pinning the worker beneath; an arm or body part is caught between a moving part of equipment, or being trapped beneath a cave-in of collapsing materials.

Although construction work is inherently risky, many accidents can be avoided by taking protective measures to maintain a safe environment. How are these injuries preventable? Here are seven common reasons why construction accidents happen.

Common causes of construction accidents

Some of the most prevalent reasons construction accidents happen boil down to these 7 factors:

  1. Property and work conditions are unsafe
  2. Lack of fall protection and equipment
  3. Equipment and tools that are negligently maintained
  4. Inadequate safety training for working near power lines
  5. Lack of personal protective equipment
  6. Unmarked hazards on the jobsite
  7. Mechanical defects

Recover full compensation for your injuries

Most laborers who are injured on the job are told they can apply for worker’s compensation benefits. But this “no fault” insurance coverage may not be your only recourse. The Ellis Law Firm is dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured workers in Southern California.  While a workman’s comp claim can help offset some of the economic losses, it’s rarely enough to bear the brunt of medical expenses, pain, suffering and diminished earning capacity.

For a confidential discussion about your case, call 310-641-3335 to speak with a Los Angeles construction accident lawyer who has the skill and experience to get results. The consultation is free. Reach out today for expert guidance from an award-winning law firm. 

Additional Resources on Construction Accidents:

  1. ConstructConnect, Top Causes of Construction Accident Injuries and How to Prevent Them
  2. Construction World, Top 10 Tips for Preventing Accidents on Construction Sites
  3. EHS Today, Dying at Work in California: 388 Workers Didn’t Come Home

3 Tragic Crane Collapses

Skyscrapers and other big buildings are modern marvels that push the boundaries of engineering capabilities. Plenty of construction projects are executed without major accidents, but all it takes is one mistake around a giant crane to cause the tragic loss of human life. Some of these tragic crane collapses have taken place right here in California.

Exxon Mobile refinery crane collapse in Torrance, CA

One of the more recent crane collapses to take place in California was the accident involving a 300-ton crane at the Exxon Mobile refinery in Torrance. In June 2016, the crane was put to work one morning relocating debris. Shortly after 9:30 a.m., it inexplicably collapsed, and workers rushed to douse the debris with water to prevent the release of flammable vapors. It’s unusual for such a massive crane to cause no deaths or major injuries when it collapses, but that was fortunately the case with this incident. Just three workers sustained minor injuries. The collapse was later discovered to be caused by an unspecified human error.

Federal Home Loan Bank crane collapse in San Francisco, CA

A crane collapse that occurred in San Francisco in 1989 was far more disastrous. The 350-foot behemoth was being used to construct the Federal Home Loan Bank at Kearny and California Streets. At the time of the collapse, the crane was being repositioned—a hazardous process that requires the machinery to be perfectly balanced.

During this deadly construction accident, the boom swung out of control over the intersection, slammed into the 24-story building it was constructing, and then slammed into two other office buildings before it fell onto the intersection. A construction worker was inside the operator’s booth when the lower portion of the crane, including the booth, toppled 16 stories down and fell onto a school bus and a commuter bus. The counterweight then crashed through the pavement, creating a crater and damaging cars in an underground parking lot.

At least five people were killed, including the school bus driver, three construction workers, and a pedestrian, and multiple people sustained injuries.

Houston, TX oil refinery crane collapse

As of 2008, crane owners and operators in Texas could use the machinery without any state or local oversight. Subject only to federal regulations, it’s perhaps not surprising that the state had the dubious distinction of having the most crane-related fatalities during the early 2000s. In July 2008, one of the largest mobile cranes in the country collapsed at an oil refinery in Houston. This construction accident killed at least four workers and injured seven others.

Take action after a construction accident in Los Angeles, California

Each Los Angeles construction accident attorney at Ellis Law have been fighting for the rights of injured workers and pedestrians for more than two decades. We understand the inherent dangers of the construction field, and we believe that victims of crane collapses and other construction-related accidents deserve maximum compensation. To find out if you could have grounds for a lawsuit, you can call our office at 310-641-3335 for your free case review.

Additional resources about construction injuries

  1. The New York Times, At Least 5 People Are Killed as Crane Topples in Downtown San Francisco,
  2. Los Angeles Times, 3 workers injured after 300-ton crane collapses at Exxon Mobil’s Torrance refinery,
  3. CBS News, Crane Collapse Kills 4 At Houston Refinery,

6 Hardest Jobs on a Construction Site

Los Angeles Construction Accident LawyerIn 2015, 388 workers in California died on the job. This equates to more than one fatality every day of the year. Among all the industries monitored by the California Department of Industrial Relations and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction remains one of the most dangerous. Hazardous workplace conditions plague numerous fields today, but few more so than building sites.

According to statistics, construction accident deaths in California increased by an alarming 34 percent in 2015 – a year that would claim the highest death rate for construction in more than a decade. Reports for 2016 paint an even grimmer picture for those employed in the state’s construction industry, with five fatal injuries attributed to falls and 13 caused by contact with heavy equipment.

Falls from heights are the number one cause of construction-related deaths in the nation, accounting for nearly a quarter of all fatalities. How high is considered deadly? Data shows an 8.2 percent death rate in workers who fall from platforms that are only 6-feet tall, and this rate increases steadily the higher the elevation.

Construction’s hardest & most dangerous jobs

Figures collected by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health underscore the occupational hazards facing construction workers.

Which construction jobs are the hardest and most dangerous?

  1. Roofers — 47.4 deaths per 100,000 workers
  2. Iron & Steel Workers — 25.2 deaths per 100,000 workers
  3. First-line supervisors – 17.9 deaths per 100,000 workers
  4. Construction laborers – 16.9 deaths per 100,000 workers
  5. Painters – 10.8 deaths per 100,000 workers
  6. Electricians — 10.4 deaths per 100,000 workers

These jobs are not only physically demanding, requiring endurance and dynamic strength, they put workers in hazardous environments where falls, crush injuries and other catastrophic harm are not uncommon.

Falls from scaffolding, ladders, roofs and structural framework remain the biggest risks for construction workers. Other dangers include accidents with heavy machinery and tools, getting struck by objects, burns and electrocution, as well as trench cave-ins.

By law, all construction site owners and supervisors are required to provide reasonable protection for the health, safety and lives of their employees. Those that breach this duty of care may face legal liability in the event of a personal injury or worker fatality.

Construction accident lawyers California trusts

Ellis Injury Law is an award-winning personal injury law firm headquartered in Los Angeles, California. If you or a loved one were harmed on a job site because of inadequate training, lack of safety equipment or negligence, each Los Angeles construction accident attorney at our practice will fight hard to protect your rights.

To arrange a free case evaluation in any one of our 20 California office locations, please call 310-641-3335.

Additional “Hardest Construction Jobs” Resources:

  1. EHS Today, Dying at Work in California: 388 Workers Didn’t Come Home
  2. CA Dept. of Industrial Relations, Fatal occupational injuries by major industry and event or exposure, California, 2016

Employer Liability in Electrocution Accidents

Electrical sparkWhether caused by a known electrical hazard, a sudden electrical explosion, high voltage wiring, or OSHA safety standard violations, there are many scenarios where an employer could be held liable for a construction worker’s electrocution injuries. Lack of protective equipment, improper training, poor inspection protocols, and inadequate maintenance are all factors where employers may be negligent.

Are Employers Liable For Electrocution Accidents?

According to NIOSH National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities data:

  • 80% of those injured had some type of electrical safety training (most commonly, on-the-job training).
  • Supervisors were present in 53% of the accidents.
  • 41% of the victims were on the job for less than one year.
  • In 35% of incidents, there was no safety program or established safety procedures.

They concluded that “Most of the 224 occupational electrocution incidents investigated… could have been prevented.” Investigators have found that comprehensive safety programs are often not fully implemented. Management is not 100% on board with explaining and promoting safety protocols.

Though many injured workers were inexperienced and did not fully understand how to identify hazards in their environments, management is ultimately responsible for providing a safe work environment for all employees through training, protective equipment, and adherence to established safe work procedures and policies.

Preventing Electrocution Injury

In order to avoid serious liability, it is important that construction worker employers follow every protocol to avoid contributing to a worker sustaining injury.

Such measures may include implementation of standardized programs and procedure that:

  • Develop and revise comprehensive safety programs
  • Ensure compliance with OSHA regulations and National Electrical Code standards
  • Provide specialized electrical safety training in hazard awareness, proper lockout/tag-out procedures, and rescue
  • Control hazardous electrical energy
  • Provide adequate testing, detection, and safety equipment
  • Create a culture that emphasizes workplace safety
  • Conduct job hazard analyses for all tasks involving contact with electrical energy

Furthermore, manufacturing companies accounted for 54% of the lower-voltage incidents, despite design features like safety interlocks, emergency stops, and electrical guarding. Failure to maintain properly designed equipment falls on the employer.

Electrocution accidents are sometimes traced back to utility companies who fail to maintain their lines. Companies that put profits before public safety must pay for their negligence. Each knowledgeable Los Angeles construction accident attorney at Ellis Injury Law will work to protect you against this injustice by fighting for the compensation you deserve.

Contact an Electrocution Accident Lawyer at Ellis Law

If you or a loved one have been electrocuted in a serious electrocution accident near Los Angeles, California, Ellis Law can help! We will help you determine how much worker’s compensation will cover, look into premises liability issues that put you at unnecessary risk, and identify systemic issues that could be putting your coworkers at risk of suffering a similar fate. Call 310-641-3335 for a free, no-obligation case assessment.

Additional Electrocution Accident Lawsuit Resources:

Construction Site Accidents & Injuries – Who Is Liable?

construction site injuriesCalifornia construction laborers face a number of workplace hazards each day. According to OSHA, more than 20% of fatal workplace accidents occur in the construction industry. That means roughly 1 in 5 workers will get hurt on a construction site. California’s construction industry has a fatal injury rate of 6.8 percent, which is second-highest, next to the sector which includes loggers, fishermen, and ranchers. Construction workers die from falls, electrocutions, being struck by heavy objects, getting crushed by equipment, or trapped inside collapsing structures.

OSHA violations often lead to injury

According to the U.S. Occupational & Safety Hazard Administration, the most frequently violated standards leading to injury and death on construction sites include:

  1. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
  2. Scaffolding requirements (29 CFR 1926.451)
  3. Ladder use (29 CFR 1926.1053)

Other general violations that occur across the various industries include failure to adhere to proper hazard communication standards, poor control of hazardous energy, improper electrical wiring methods, and inadequate respiratory protection. On average, more than 13 people die at work each day in largely preventable accidents. Those who survive are often left with debilitating injuries.

Who is liable for construction accidents and injuries?

Determining liability can be a complex matter, given that each construction setup follows a different hierarchy. There are site landowners, designers and engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, equipment manufacturers, material suppliers, maintenance technicians, insurers, and construction management firms. Large construction projects involve a good deal of delegation to spread out legal responsibility.

Possible parties that may be held liable for a construction accident may include:

  • The construction site owner / legal possessor of the land – Like all premises liability cases, the landowner is responsible for maintaining a safe environment for all invited guests. If the land owner knows about (or should have reasonably known about) a potential hazard on the land, but did nothing to remedy the situation, he or she can be charged with violating a duty of care. This standard does not apply when invitees are forewarned about the hazard.
  • General contractors, subcontractors, and coworkers – These workers have a duty to make sure they have performed their portion of work on the construction site safely, to industry and company standards. Competent workers should be hired and thoroughly trained to ensure compliance with safety regulations.
  • Architects and engineers – Design and land use professionals must act in accordance with local code regulations. They must obtain all relevant permits and inspections before their work moves from blueprints to reality. If their work fails to meet the terms, conditions, and standards set forth in their contracts, they may be held responsible.
  • Machinery manufacturers or maintenance technicians – Sometimes equipment malfunctions as a result of poor maintenance work, defective design, or early degradation. The legal principles of a standard product liability lawsuit may apply here.
  • Insurers – Insurance coverage is designed to cover property owners or construction firms in the event of a catastrophe. Sometimes there is ample coverage to pay for all injuries and a lawsuit is not necessary. More often than not, the amount of insurance money offered pales in comparison to the expenses incurred by a serious injury or fatality. Insurance only pays for tangible medical expenses and lost income, not emotional pain and suffering or other, more personal losses. Only a lawsuit can compensate for loss of enjoyment in life, guidance, consortium, companionship, and other heartaches.

Get an experienced Los Angeles construction accident lawyer who cares

The Ellis Injury Law Firm has won over $350 million for clients from diverse backgrounds. A Los Angeles construction accident attorney can help you evaluate your claim for compensation. Our investigators have extensive experience in construction accident reconstruction, and we employ the best industry witnesses to provide depositions and testimonies that lend credence to your case. In most cases, we obtain fair settlements outside of the courtroom. All legal counsel is provided free of charge until we secure money on your behalf, so there is nothing to lose by calling 310-641-3335.

Additional California Construction Accident Resources:

  1. BLS – Fatal Occupational Injury Rates by Industry (California, 2015),
  2. BLS – Highest Fatal Injury Rate,
  3. OSHA – Common Statistics,