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Forklift carrying rebar overturns, killing Calif. worker

LAFD paramedics, USAR team worked to lift the forklift off the worker

By Ruben Vives
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — A construction worker was killed in Bel-Air on Monday afternoon when a forklift carrying a load of rebar toppled onto him, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Los Angeles firefighters responded at 1 p.m. to a call about an adult male trapped under a forklift at 970 N. Moraga Drive, said Brian Humphrey, Fire Department spokesperson.

Upon arriving, firefighters found a man trapped under a forklift that had been carrying steel rebar at the construction site. Humphrey said that, despite the quick response from fire crews, including those trained, certified and equipped for Urban Search & Rescue, the worker could not be saved. Fire paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene. He was not immediately identified.

The fatal construction accident comes nearly a month after a Los Angeles Port worker died in a similar accident.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of workers who are dying on the job has been increasing since 2013. In California, more than 500 workers died on the job in 2022, an increase from 2021, when the tally was 462. In 2022, the largest share of those workers who were fatally injured — 26% — were in the transportation and material moving occupations, according to the bureau.

The department has not released data on occupational deaths for 2023.

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