How Do I Report an Unsafe Construction Site?
Like most metropolitan areas, Los Angeles is a city constantly under construction. Construction work is inherently dangerous, and the risk to workers and passers-by is even greater when the construction site is unsafe. How you report an unsafe construction site depends on the nature of the hazard.
If you are a construction worker, you should report the unsafe condition to your supervisor as soon as possible. Third parties should report the unsafe condition to the Building and Safety Department of the Department of Public Works of the municipality in which the site is located. In Los Angeles, call 311 and an agent will direct your call to the appropriate party.
Construction workers and others may also file a complaint with the California Department of Industrial Relations for California/OSHA. By law, the name of any complainant remains confidential.
For those injured due to unsafe conditions, the Los Angeles construction accident attorneys at Ellis Injury Law will work to protect your rights and hold those responsible for the hazards liable. We fight so you may receive justice.
Reporting an unsafe construction site
While workers should report the unsafe conditions to a supervisor, members of the public may also consider notifying a company owner or manager. Information about the company in charge of the construction work is posted on the site. You can look up company information online and ask to speak to whoever is in charge of the site.
When calling 311, give as much specific information about the unsafe condition as possible. If you see people working on-site without helmets, fall preventive, or similar safety gear, let the operator know. Give the service the name of the construction company if you know it.
Cal/OSHA classifies every complaint to establish inspection priorities. First priority goes to imminent hazards, those situations which could cause death or serious physical harm “immediately.” The second priority involves formal complaints from employees.
If the complaint is anonymous and does not appear to address a serious safety issue, Cal/OSHA considers it a third priority. The agency often handles such complaints by sending a letter to the employer or manager requesting them to correct the conditions. This is in lieu of an onsite inspection. If there is no reply or no evidence the issue has been addressed, an onsite inspection may ensue.
Cal/OSHA is not the only agency with which to report an unsafe construction site. If you know the job site address and the construction is active, fill out a complaint form with the Department of Consumer Affairs, Contractors State License Board. The CSLB’s complaint process is designed to “protect the public in matters pertaining to construction,” as well assisting in construction complaint resolution.
Common unsafe conditions
Common unsafe conditions on construction sites include:
- Poor scaffolding construction
- Lack of proper safety equipment
- Improper use or storage of hazardous chemicals
- Exposed electrical wiring
- Poorly maintained equipment
When reporting unsafe construction sites, note the following:
- The type of unsafe work performed or the existing hazard
- Equipment conditions
- Number of workers exposed to the hazard, if known
Workers can report whether employee safety training is adequate. They can also relay information about any “near-miss” situations.
Documenting unsafe conditions
If possible, collect evidence regarding the unsafe construction site conditions prior to filing a report. Evidence collection includes taking photos or videos of the hazards.
Contact a Los Angeles construction accident lawyer
If you were injured on an unsafe construction site, you need the services of the experienced LA construction attorneys at Ellis Injury Law. Schedule a free, confidential consultation by submitting our online form or calling or texting 24/7.
After reviewing your case, we will let you know whether you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Our attorneys have recovered more than $350 million in settlements and verdicts for clients hurt by another party’s negligence or recklessness. All work is done on a contingency basis. You pay no fee unless you receive compensation.