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Worker killed in tragic collapse: OSHA fines construction firm

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a citation against a New Jersey construction company regarding a tragic collapse that claimed the life of a worker in Dutton. The accident happened in Poughkeepsie in August 2017. One construction worker died and another worker suffered serious injuries when part of a concrete retaining wall collapsed.

Onekey, the construction company that employed the men, may have to pay $281,583 in OSHA penalties. The retaining wall that collapsed, according to OSHA, had not been approved or designed by an appropriately registered engineer. OSHA also said that Onekey did not appropriately train its employees that they should stay a safe distance away from the wall and the pile of soil that it was retaining. OSHA also failed to give appropriate fall protection to the workers.

The worker who died was working at the Onekey site via the Connecticut-based subcontractor that employed him. The other work was lucky to survive the incident after escaping the worse of the fall. However, he required hospital care for what was believed to be a broken hand and possibly a broken leg.

According to OSHA, the tragic death and injuries associated with the accident should have been prevented. OSHA said that appropriate construction safeguards and employee training are vital elements to ensure the safety of employees. Onekey has not responded to media requests for comment on the citations and the accident.

Whenever a construction worker dies or gets seriously injured in an accident, the injured worker -- and/or family members of workers who died -- will usually be able to receive workers' compensation benefits. The nature and extent of these benefits will depend on the circumstances of the accident, injuries and/or fatalities, as well as the skill with which victims and family members pursue their workers' compensation benefits.

Source: Poughkeepsie Journal, "OSHA cites construction company in fatal Dutton site collapse," Abbott Brant, Feb. 01, 2018

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