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.