US Department of Labor's OSHA cites contractor for willful and serious
violations following trench collapse and fatality in Cumming, Ga.
JACKSON, Ga. – Jackson-based C. Scott Fulcher, doing business as 2-Brothers Enterprises Inc., has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for two willful and one serious violation following a February trench cave-in at a Cumming work site that led to the death of an employee.
OSHA began its inspection after being notified that emergency personnel were responding to a possible trench cave-in at the Waterstone Falls subdivision. Arriving on the scene, OSHA found that the company had been installing a sewer line in a trench approximately 40 feet long and 9 feet deep at the deepest section. The trench walls were vertical with no means of cave-in protection provided. Dirt placed at the edge of the trench had fallen into the trench, trapping 20-year-old Aaron Banks who was freed by emergency crews but who later died from his injuries.
The willful violations related to the incident involve placing soil within 2 feet of the edge of the excavation and not providing cave-in protection to workers in the excavation. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The serious violation was cited for failing to provide a ladder or other safe means of egress for employees working in a trench at least 4 feet deep. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"This employer is well aware of the requirements to protect workers engaged in trenching operations yet failed to utilize the methods and equipment available. A tragic death is the result," said Cindy Coe, OSHA's regional administrator in Atlanta.
OSHA's eTool on trenching and excavation is available at
Penalties total $116,200. The contractor has up to 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office, 2183 Northlake Parkway, Building 7, Suite 110, Tucker, Ga. 30084; telephone 770-493-6644. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.