Company Owner of Two Killed Workers Had Been Cited 27 Times

May 27, 2020

STARKVILLE, Miss. — The owner of the contracting company of which two workers were killed in a trench collapse in Mississippi earlier this month was previously issued 27 federal citations for safety violations.

Shane Henderson was the president of the now-defunct Gilco Contracting, based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the citations in 2005 and 2008, The Commercial Dispatch reported Sunday.

Most of the violations were for failure to meet excavation and protective system requirements, according to the Dispatch’s review of OSHA inspection records.

Three more citations were levied against Southern Civil Contracting — owned by Henderson and also based in Tuscaloosa — in 2010, its first year of existence. Since then, OSHA has not cited the company, according to the newspaper.

OSHA is now investigating the May 19 trench collapse that killed two Southern Civil Contracting workers in Starkville, Mississippi.

Zachary Wayne Osbourn, 36, and William Kizzire, 19, were crushed by rocks while laying pipes at the site of town homes under construction, news outlets reported.

It’s unclear whether safety violations led to the fatal trench collapse. OSHA declined to comment on the investigation, and Henderson could not be reached for comment, according to the newspaper.

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