Friday, April 18, 2014
Lacey Slates Rollout Program for Occupational, Environmental Crimes
By a MetNews Staff Writer
District attorney investigators will be promptly dispatched to the scenes of occupational deaths and environmental hazards under a new program announced yesterday by District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
“The OSHA and Environmental Crimes Rollout Program will direct District Attorney staff to the sites of the most serious industrial incidents immediately after they are reported to enhance the preservation of evidence and ensure that witness accounts are documented,” the office said in a press release.
“This program is designed to protect the health and safety of all Los Angeles County residents - wherever they may live, work and play,” Lacey said in a release, following a morning press conference. “We will help law enforcement and regulatory agencies more thoroughly investigate these incidents so that criminal acts are discovered and vigorously prosecuted.”
Lacey said prosecutors “will not tolerate companies that put their employees and the public at risk.”
The office said it would work with law enforcement and local fire departments to develop a system for notifying prosecutors. “First-responders are being asked to alert the District Attorney’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,” the release said.
Lacey said she has signed agreements with dozens of agencies to participate in the program, including the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Long Beach Police Department and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
Lacey said her office will work alongside those agencies with original responsibility for conducting workplace-safety and environmental investigations, including the California Occupational Safety & Health Administration.
The district attorney coupled her announcement with a warning.
“My office is fully committed to the rigorous enforcement of these laws and regulations,” she said. “Businesses that do not ensure worker and community safety will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
In the coming months, the District Attorney’s Criminal Justice Institute also will provide training to law enforcement personnel on how to investigate occupational deaths and significant environmental incidents, Lacey said.
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