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Metro Purple Line construction halted due to safety concerns after dozens of workers injured

Construction halted on Metro Purple Line due to safety concerns
Construction halted on Metro Purple Line due to safety concerns 03:08

Construction on the Metro Purple Line has been halted for at least two weeks due to safety concerns. 

Sate Occupational Safety records show that dozens of workers have been hurt since July 2021, with even more dating back to the beginning of the project's construction in 2018. 

According to those records, workers have fallen off of ladders, slipped in mud, been hit by falling slurry and hit in the face by a failed hose, amongst other instances. 

Metro officials claim to have made the project's contractor, Tutor Perini O&G, aware of the unsafe work conditions, but nothing changed. 

"Metro has ordered its contractor to temporarily suspend all field work on the Purple Line Extension Section 2 Project due to the unacceptable rate of serious worker injuries. Safety is and will always be our first priority. The safety of those building our county's transportation projects must always be protected. We expect the contractor to improve its safety policies and to demonstrate its full compliance with all of Metro's contract safety requirements before we allow work to continue."

In a letter sent to the contractor on Friday, Metro officials said that construction would not be able to resume until a safety plan was put into place and past incidents addressed.

According to a report from The Los Angeles Times, there have been 32 injuries since July 2021. 13 of those have been serious enough to require both medical attention and a report to California workplace safety officials. In all, there have been 43 injuries that have required medical attention since 2018.

Metro spokesperson Dave Sotero told The Times that this is the first time that they have suspended construction due to safety concerns since 2016, while working on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project.

When contacted for a statement on the matter, Tutor Perini O&G told CBSLA:

"Safety is of utmost importance on all our jobsites. We are firmly committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for our employees and to working in a manner that ensures the safety of our subcontractors, customers and the general public, as well as the protection of facilities, equipment and the environment. We are investigating and working cooperatively with Metro to address the issues they have identified, determine their cause and ensure that we live up to the high safety standards we have set for ourselves, which we strive to achieve every day."

The Purple Line is expected to run from Wilshire to the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Hospital once it's proposed completion date in 2027, just before the Olympics return to the Southland.

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