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Employer sentenced to jail after fatal trench accident


The owner of a Colorado construction company has been sentenced to 10 months in jail for reckless endangerment and assault related to an employee’s death in a trench accident, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said in a statement Thursday.

Bryan Johnson, owner of Avon, Colorado-based ContractOne Inc., was sentenced by the state’s Grand County Court after pleading guilty to the charges in June.

In June 2018, 50-year-old Rosario Martinez was fatally injured in a trench collapse at a worksite in Granby, Colorado. OSHA said Mr. Johnson failed to train Mr. Martinez on the hazards related to trenching and that ContractOne failed to conduct site inspections, did not remove excavated soil from trench edges, failed to provide ladders and did not use appropriate procedures during trenching operations.

In addition to jail time, Mr. Johnson will serve three years of probation, pay Mr. Martinez’s family restitution up to $25,000, complete safety training and allow OSHA to inspect worksites without an administrative warrant.