A Colorado construction company owner is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to manslaughter Aug. 3, 2023 for failing to follow OSHA standards leading to a fatal trench collapse.
Peter Dillon, owner of the now defunct A4S LLC, pleaded guilty to manslaughter for refusing to require the use of proper safety equipment to protect workers in a trench.
The guilty plea follows a criminal referral by OSHA after the agency investigated the incident that took the life of A4S employee Marlon Diaz. Diaz had been installing a residential sewer line when the collapse occurred.
“Marlon Diaz’s life could have been spared if Peter Dillon had required the use of safety equipment that was lying unused near the trench when it collapsed,” Department of Labor Regional Solicitor John Rainwater said.
OSHA’s investigation led to three willful citations in May 2022 for failing to:
- ensure the excavation was inspected by a competent person
- instruct employees on the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions, and
- have a trench protective system in place.
A4S also received a serious citation for not having a safe means of egress within 25 lateral feet of employees working in a trench.
These citations led to a proposed fine of $449,583 and placement of the company into OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
The company has since shuttered and Dillon agreed to forfeit any future ownership, leadership or management position that involves trenching or excavation, or the oversight of workplace safety and health.