The owner of a defunct Vail construction company surrendered to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office in connection to the death of a worker in a 2021 trench collapse.
Peter Dillon, who owned A4S LLC, faces a manslaughter charge, according to a U.S. Department of Labor news release.
An arrest warrant was issued for Dillon on Tuesday after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration referred the case to the Summit County District Attorney’s Office.
OSHA recommended the pursuit of a local criminal charge because of “A4S LLC’s refusal to require safety protection, despite worsening trench conditions that included at least one trench collapse,” the release said. Dillon has since agreed to “forfeit any future ownership, leadership or management position that involves trenching or excavation, or the oversight of workplace safety and health.”
The Thursday news release describes Dillon as a “Colorado contractor who willfully ignored federal law”, stating his now-shuttered company failed to “use legally required trench protection systems.”
In May 2022, the OSHA cited the company “after a worker installing residential sewer pipes suffered fatal injuries when the trench around him caved in.” The fatal incident happened in Breckenridge on Nov. 16, 2021.
“OSHA issued three willful citations to A4S LLC for not ensuring the excavation was inspected by a competent person, failing to instruct employees on the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and not having a trench protective system in place,” the news release said. “Investigators also issued an additional serious citation for not having a safe means of egress within 25 lateral feet of employees working in a trench.”
In 2022, OSHA reported that at least 39 industry workers died nationally in trench collapses, with 166 worker deaths from 2011 to 2018.
“Let this tragedy serve as a reminder to other employers who willingly fail in their responsibilities to keep workers safe that the U.S. Department of Labor will exhaust every resource to hold employers accountable for protecting workers, including recommending criminal prosecution,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Jennifer S. Rous, in the release.
Dillon is scheduled for a Feb. 15 bond hearing in Summit County, according to court records.
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