Two workers died after a trench collapse May 19 in Starkville, Mississippi.
Zachary Wayne Osbourn, 36, and William Kizzire, 19, both from Alabama, were on a residential sewer installation job for Southern Civil Contracting of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, when the 10- to 12-foot-deep trench they were in collapsed, according to news reports.
Osbourn died at the scene. His body was recovered after a lengthy rescue by the Starkville Fire Department. Kizzire was still alive when he was rescued from the trench but died after being removed.
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Southern Civil Contracting had been cited by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2010 for trench-related violations and paid a fine of $788, according to The Dispatch newspaper in Columbus.
The company’s owner, Shane Henderson, was also president of the now-defunct Gilco Contracting in Tuscaloosa, the newspaper reports. The company, which folded in 2013, was issued 27 OSHA citations between 2005 and 2008, The Dispatch reports, and in one incident, a worker’s arm was amputated after a trench collapse in 2006. In all, Gilco faced penalties totaling $530,500, with the amount reduced to $258,735 after it contested the cases, according to The Dispatch.
For more on the business and human costs of trench-collapse fatalities, see Equipment World’s special report Death by Trench.