Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced Thursday a program aimed at beefing up enforcement of environmental and workplace safety laws.
Under the OSHA and Environmental Crimes Rollout Program, district attorney's staffers will be sent to the site of serious industrial incidents the same day they are reported, Lacey said.
"If we're out there that day taking our own photographs, taking the information from who the witnesses are, it is the difference between a successful prosecution and no prosecution at all," Lacey said at a news conference in downtown Los Angeles.
Prosecutors are working closely with law enforcement and fire agencies on a notification system, she said.
She said first-responders are being asked to alert the D.A.'s office when they are called out to locations involving workplace deaths or where victims have suffered life-threatening injuries potentially caused by violations of workplace safety rules.
"It shouldn't matter whether you are rich or poor. It shouldn't matter if you live in a working-class neighborhood or a working neighborhood, you are still entitled to having your safety protected," Lacey said.
D.A.'s staff will also be sent to environmental incidents that threaten serious harm to the environment, wildlife or public safety, she said.
The Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Long Beach Police Department and Los Angeles County Coroner's Office have all entered into agreements to participate in the program.
"My office is fully committed to the rigorous enforcement of these laws and regulations," Lacey said. "Businesses that do not ensure worker and community safety will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
—City News Service