The general contractor overseeing a construction site in Raleigh, North Carolina, where a man was killed and two others were injured, had a history of safety violations, according to an investigation by WRAL.
Harold K. Jordan & Co. (HKJ) was overseeing the construction of a 382-unit apartment complex at Old Wake Forest Road and Triangle Town Boulevard when a portion of an excavated area collapsed, burying three workers. Other workers were able to dig the two injured workers to safety, but were unable to rescue the third.
“It was quickly apparent they were not able to do anything to save him,” said Jeff Hammerstein, assistant chief of Wake EMS. The third worker died at the scene. The injured workers were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The man who died worked for Vertical Walls, Inc., a subcontractor hired by Honeycutt Construction Services. Vertical Walls was charged with excavating an area to build a retaining wall for a storm water retention pond.
The accident is being investigated by the North Carolina division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as is customary in the event of on-the-job fatalities and injuries. A spokesperson for HKJ said the company had hired a federal workplace safety consultant in November to survey the construction site and ensure safety precautions were being met.
According to an investigation by WRAL, HKJ had been fined more than $35,000 for safety violations since 2014, including two violations in 2017 with fines totaling $30,000. The worker’s death was HKJ’s first on-the-job fatality in the company’s 30-year history.
Honeycutt and Vertical Walls have not been previously cited for any state or federal workplace violations.