One worker has died and two others were injured when a trench collapsed at a North Raleigh construction site on Jan. 22.
The late morning accident occurred at 6100 Triangle Town Blvd. at the 382-unit Raleigh Piedmont apartment complex being constructed by Harold J. Jordan & Company (HJK).
The man who died worked for subcontractor Vertical Walls, working as a sub-contractor for Honeycutt Construction Services, which HJK says was hired to clear, grade and pave the site ahead of construction. Approximately 20 building permits were issued by the City of Raleigh for various retaining wall sections on March 22, 2018.
Earlier published reports put the overall project value at about $50 million.
At publication time, authorities have not released the name of the man who died, or the details about the injured workers.
Workers were “preparing an area where a retaining wall that was being built for a stormwater retention pond and excavating for wall construction,” HKJ said in a statement.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to this worker’s family and all those involved with the accident that occurred today,” said HJK president Hal Jordan. “Our number one priority is to always offer the safest workplace possible for our employees and subcontractors.”
Raleigh-based Vertical Walls says on its website that it has done work throughout the East Coast since 1999.
The company does not have a history of safety violations, the News & Observer quoted Mary Katherine Revels, a North Carolina Department of Labor, as saying.
The labor department’s investigation can take anywhere from a few weeks to six months, officials said.
The News & Observer reports that North Carolina’s labor inspectors discovered several violations against HJK during five inspections between 2009 and 2017, according to public records. Some of the violations were considered “serious,” such as having proper protections in place when workers use scaffolding.
In February 2016, the state said the company violated a rule that says workers must be protected by possible cave-ins at excavations “by an adequate protective system.”
However, the company said in its statement that a “safety consultant” with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration visited the site in November “to ensure that HKJ was in compliance with all current safety standards.”
“HKJ requires all of its subcontractors to adhere to all federal and state safety standards,” the company said.