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Company cited in fatal Fort Bragg trench collapse

Posted January 7, 2015

Photos on Facebook show a smiling Clyde Nettles Jr. at his graduation from Hoke County High School.
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— Federal investigators cited Tekton Construction Co. for “two willful and two serious safety violations” in connection with a July trench collapse at Fort Bragg that killed a 22-year-old man.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Tekton for not providing cave-in protection for employees working in a trench, not providing a safe means to enter and exit the trench, not providing protective hard hats to employees inside trenches and for failure to train workers to identify and avoid hazardous working conditions. OSHA, in a statement released Wednesday, described the last two violations as serious citations.

Tekton, which faces $123,200 in penalties, has 15 business days from receiving the citations to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings.

OSHA investigators also proposed that Tekton be placed in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program for “demonstrating indifference to its OSHA Act obligations to provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees.”

“Tekton was well aware of the dangers associated with entering unprotected trenches, yet the company disregarded OSHA standards,” said Kim Morton, director of OSHA’s Raleigh office, in a statement. “Sadly, a young man was killed as a result. His life could have been saved and this incident prevented if the company put proper safeguards in place to protect its workers.”

A message left at Tekton’s corporate headquarters in Minnesota was not immediately returned.

Clyde Nettles Jr. was killed July 24 after several thousand pounds of sand collapsed on him near Ammunition Supply Point. Crews were installing pipes for a bunker when a large rock or large amount of dirt dislodged, prompting the collapse.

A co-worker who was also in the trench was not injured.

"CID at Fort Bragg gave him two minutes," his father, Clyde, said in July. "The Fayetteville coroner gave him less than 30 seconds."

Crews used buckets and their hands to dig out Nettles' body, which was recovered after almost a full day of effort.


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  • Grand Union Jan 8, 2015

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    And that would likely be paid by the insurance policy of the Company......
    It still comes down to a Company killing an employee to save a buck.........and there absolutely should be jail time......."pour encourager les autres".

    Otherwise owners will keep gambling with peoples lives because there is profit in doing so.....

  • 1jalapeno Jan 8, 2015

    How much money would you sell your life or your son's life for? The only way this kind of grossly negligent behavior might be reduced will be after responsible company officials routinely spend time in prison.

  • PowderedToastMan Jan 8, 2015

    it's a trench. What did they expect?

  • Paladin2 Jan 8, 2015

    The real cost to the company will come from litigation with the family over failure to use basic common sense at the very least.

  • KTs Bitcoin B0wl Champs Jan 8, 2015

    View quoted thread

    This is nothing compared to the civil suit that will be coming from his family after this finding.

  • demoneyze60 Jan 8, 2015

    No Third Party Inspector onsite or at the scene, this should go deeper than just the Construction Company.

  • SAY 'WHAT" ONE MORE TIME! Jan 8, 2015

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    The fine will go to OSHA. The family will sue and the company will be out of a lot more money than that. Someone is likely not being jailed since they would have a near impossible time pinning the negligence on one person and you can't lock them all up

  • SAY 'WHAT" ONE MORE TIME! Jan 8, 2015

    View quoted thread

    Slow down. The penalty would be paid to OSHA. That's not the amount that would necessarily be awarded to his family if they sue

  • monstermash Jan 8, 2015

    A man's life taken and a possible OSHA penalty of only $123,200?

  • 1jalapeno Jan 8, 2015

    Prison time for the company officials responsible for on site safety would represent a meaningful response to the needless death of this young man. A token fine and putting the company on a list has little meaning when balanced against the loss of this young man's life. Seems like we treat "life" pretty cheaply, as if it isn't worth too much.