A tragic reminder on the importance of trench safety

This week it was reported in the Edmonton Journal that two Alberta companies and a Prime Contractor were facing a total of 19 Occupational Health and Safety charges, after a labourer was crushed to death while digging a sewer line at a city infill project back in April last year.

We were contacted by the media to comment on the kinds of preventative measures that can be put in place within a company and on a job site to help ensure accidents like this don’t happen. Our COO Tammy Hawkins is quoted in the article with our response, which can be read online here.

Before commencing work that requires underground trenching, it is imperative that the following precautions are taken in to account:

  • Comprehension of and abiding by the rules of the OHS standards in place, set by the Government of Alberta, as per Part 32 of the Occupational Health and Safety Code.
  • A call is made to Alberta Once Call’s ‘Click Before You Dig’ program for locates to be conducted (this is a free service!)
  • The correct shoring is in place to hold the trench and prevent it from collapsing.
  • Markers, flaggers and safeguards are put in place to prevent falling.
  • Safe and accessible entry and exits are installed.
  • A worker with the appropriate skills and training conducts the trench work.

Affordable education and training are available through our courses to ensure your company knows (and follows) the safety standards in place next time you’re out on the job site.


Pictured: Our leadership, Dan MacLennan and Tammy Hawkins, with Alberta Deputy Minister of Labour, Jeff Parr, asking everyone to remember this simple, but important message – Click before you Dig! Check out the Alberta One Call website and learn about some of the FREE services they offer to ensure you’re safe to start work.