Employer Of Two Deceased Workers Connected To 27 Previous OSHA Citations


Starkville, Miss-(WorkersCompensation.com) - Two employers who worked for Southern Civil Contracting, a Tuscaloosa-based company, were killed when a trench had collapsed on them while laying pipes at a construction site last month.

According to media reports, Zachary Wayne Osbourn, 36, was pronounced dead at the site, and it took over two hours to rescue William Kizzire,19 from the rubble.  Kizzire was airlifted to North Mississippi Center in Tupelo but died en route. 

“It took us about two and a half hours to get the other one out of the trench,” said Starkville Fire Chief Charles Yarbough in a media release. “He got rocks on top of him. When we got our guys in a hole trying to get him out, we had to watch the safety of our guys, and we were trying to keep them alive as well.”

Southern Civil Contracting rarely had accidents occur on any of its job sites. However, a laundry list of citations from OSHA for an array of safety violations are linked to the owner and president of the company, Shane Henderson.

Henderson had accrued 27 OSHA citations from inspections of trenches at construction spanning the period 2005 to 2008, when he was president of Gilco Contracting, also established in Tuscaloosa.   In April 2006, a work injury occurred at a  Gilco jobsite similar to the one at Southern Civil.

A Gilco employee was pinned under some equipment in an 18-foot trench after a soil collapse, and the worker’s arm was crushed and later had to be amputated. OSHA cited Gilco for five violations; three for not meeting specific excavation requirements, one for education and safety training violations, and one for not succeeding in meeting protective system requirements.

In 2010, Southern Civil had three citations that were similar to Gilco’s during its first year as a new company, but since has not been cited again. OSHA is currently investigating the work-related accident with Southern Civil Contracting.

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