“After an initial on-site investigation, Cal/OSHA has confirmed that no fall-protection violations were observed.” Work related or not, this horrific tragedy reinforces the importance of safety and safety enforcement on the job as well as how important it is to comply with OSHA’s thorough documentation and recordkeeping regulations. Los Angeles Daily News, Susan Abram reports.
Los Angeles County coroners collect evidence after a construction worker, on the second day on the job, died after falling 53 floors off a high-rise onto a car on Thursday, March 17, 2016 in downtown Los Angeles. The high-rise will be the West Coast’s tallest building. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)
A man who fell to his death from the 53rd floor of a high-rise building in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday had no safety harness on and was not working, a spokeswoman with the construction company on the project said.
The man, who remained unidentified pending notification of his family, fell from the Wilshire Grand Center at 624 S. Figueroa St., onto a passing vehicle just after 12:30 p.m.
The 73-story hotel is under construction and the work is being done by Turner Construction C0..
“We have confirmed with Cal/OSHA and LAPD that the incident which occurred at the Wilshire Grand project site today was not work-related,” according to a statement from Turner Construction. “After an initial on-site investigation, Cal/OSHA has confirmed that no fall-protection violations were observed.”
A spokeswoman for the company said all workers have to wear harnesses and all barriers were in place, but the man was not performing work on the 53rd floor. It was unclear what he was doing on the 53rd floor, and the spokeswoman said she could not elaborate.
The man was an electrician who was on his second day on the job, according to reports from the scene.
“We were deeply saddened to learn that we have lost a member of the team building the Wilshire Grand Center,” according to a statement from Turner. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the worker’s family. On any given day, there are 1,000 men and women working on this project. The entire team working on this project is committed to the safety of all of our workers, and we will do everything we can to understand what happened here today and prevent it from happening again.”
The area remained cordoned off for several hours as investigators worked to determine the circumstances of the man’s fall. His body lay covered next to a white sedan and an investigators’ tent.
A Cal/OSHA spokeswoman said the investigation remains active.
A woman was driving the car, but she was not injured. She was taken to an area hospital to be evaluated, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman.
Work was stopped for the rest of the day while officials with Cal/OSHA were at the site, according to Turner’s statement. The company also said counselors would be available for workers.
The Wilshire Grand Center, a 900-room upscale hotel being developed by Korean Air, is set to open in 2017 and will be the tallest structure on the West Coast.
In 2014, work crews set a record on the site by laying 21,200 cubic yards of foundational concrete continuously for 18 hours straight.