US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.
Trade News Release Banner Image

Region 4 News Release:    06-1697-ATL (238)
Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Contact: John Deifer     Jo Anne Burgoyne
Phone: (912) 652-4393     (404) 562-2076

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA Cites Alabama Company Following Fatality Investigation at Gulfport, Miss., Excavation Site

JACKSON, Miss. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Big Warrior Corp. of Cleveland, Ala., and proposed penalties totaling $78,100, following the investigation of a fatal trench collapse at a work site in Gulfport, Miss.

"This company disregarded its own safety manual requirements and federal safety regulations, with tragic results," said Clyde Payne, OSHA's Jackson, Miss., area director.

On April 27, three Big Warrior Corp. employees were digging under a 54-inch storm sewer when a section of the trench wall collapsed, trapping one worker, who died.

The agency issued one willful citation with a proposed penalty of $56,000 alleging that the employer permitted employees to work in an 8- to 10-foot-deep trench with vertical side walls that were not sloped, shored or supported by the use of a trench box or other protective system. OSHA issues a willful citation when an employer has shown an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

The company also received seven serious citations with proposed penalties totaling $22,100. Alleged violations included the following: failing to provide a safe means of entering and exiting the 125-foot-long, 65-inch-wide excavation; lack of safety training for employees working in the trench and performing traffic-control duties; placing excavated materials too close to the edge of the trench; and failing to conduct soil analysis. Serious citations are issued when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazards.

The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Jackson area office, located in the Homer Lee Howie Building, 3780 Interstate 55 North, Suite 210, phone (601) 965-4606.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


U.S. Labor Department (DOL) releases are accessible on the Internet at The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.