NJ Construction Company Cited for Wall Collapse Fatality

ALBANY, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Onekey LLC, a construction management and development company, for exposing employees to crushing hazards after a concrete block retaining wall collapsed at a Poughkeepsie worksite. The company faces $281,583 in proposed penalties.

OSHA opened an inspection in August 2017 and found that the retaining wall was not designed or approved by a registered engineer. Its collapse led to the death of an employee of New Generations Masonry, a Connecticut-based subcontractor, and injuries to another employee.

Onekey LLC, based in New Jersey, was also cited for failing to train employees to keep a safe distance from the wall and soil pile, and failing to provide proper fall protection.

OSHA Albany Area Office Director Robert Garvey, said, “Establishing and maintaining effective construction safeguards, and providing adequate employee training are crucial to protecting employees from serious or fatal injuries.”

An autopsy determined the employee’s death was “crush and blunt force injuries,” according to Dutchess County Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in August.

In the violation summary, OSHA notes that Onekey did not protect employees from the hazards associated with a “soil surcharge collapse” for one of the building’s soil surcharges, and did not maintain a slope of 45 degrees at the edge of the surcharge, “as per engineer design.”