worker pulling on chain while standing in trench that has blue and yellow trench supports

Contractor Owner, Equipment Operator Arrested Following Fatal Trench Collapse Investigation

In July 2022, an eight-foot-deep trench collapsed, killing a worker.

Two people have been arrested following investigations into a trench collapse that killed a worker last year.

OSHA, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General and detectives from the Town of Vernon's Police Department started an investigation after an employee of Botticello Inc. was buried when an eight-foot-deep trench collapsed at a Connecticut site in July 2022, according to a news release.

Although the contractor was cited, the investigation also led to Botticello’s owner, Dennis Botticello, and Glen Locke, an equipment operator, being arrested on first-degree manslaughter and first-degree reckless endangerment charges, OSHA said. The Vernon Police Department made the arrests on March 3, 2023.

"These arrests are the result of collaborative investigations by local and federal law enforcement groups that show OSHA will use all available enforcement tools at its disposal to ensure workers are afforded the protections provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Act,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Galen Blanton in Boston in the news release.

According to a January news release, OSHA alleged that Botticello did not offer a protective system, did not have inspections performed by a “competent person” and lacked “sufficient means of egress” from the trench. Citations show that Botticello was cited for three willful violations along with $375,021 in proposed penalties. The findings have been contested.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

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