The owner of a Colorado construction company was sentenced to jail time and ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution to the family of a worker who died from injuries sustained in a preventable trench collapse.
Bryan Johnson, owner of ContractOne Inc., was sentenced July 15 to 10 months in jail for two counts of reckless endangerment and one count of third degree assault related to the workplace death of Rosario Martinez.
Johnson pleaded guilty to the charges on June 16, 2021, according to a Department of Labor news release.
Johnson was also ordered to:
- pay the Martinez family restitution not to exceed $25,000
- serve three years’ probation
- make local charitable contributions
- participate in the Department of Labor Workers Memorial Day ceremony
- complete safety training
- not commit any future willful or serious OSHA violations, and
- allow OSHA to inspect his worksites without an administrative warrant.
Lack of training
An OSHA investigation into the June 14, 2018, trench collapse found that Johnson hired Martinez to install drywall and do carpentry work but didn’t train him or other workers on trenching and excavation hazards.
When the trench collapsed, Martinez was installing a water service line at a residential construction site.
On the day before the incident, the trench collapsed when no one was in it, but Johnson didn’t change his procedures.
Martinez’s son was on site and assisted rescuers in digging his father out of the trench and getting him to a nearby hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.