Blog Post #201 – New Glasgow Fined in Deadly Trench Collapse

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada Magazine

The Town of New Glasgow in Nova Scotia must pay $25,000 and various other penalties following a trench collapse two years ago that claimed the life of a worker.

In a decision released April 8, Justice Jamie Campbell of the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia ordered the municipality to pay the fine no later than June 30. Among the additional sanctions, which total $85,000, are the following:

– develop an integrated safety manual and support material (including minimum safety policies for all town departments) and provide the information to all municipal units in the province ($35,000);
– undertake a public information campaign that directly addresses the specific impact of workplace safety on families ($15,000);
– move forward with approved health and safety training for all town staff ($15,000); and,
– pay for quarterly audits, to be done by an independent safety consultant, of all town safety programs ($5,000).

The sentence follows the death of Michael Bonvie on October 26, 2006. Bonvie had 20 years of trenching experience, but had been on the job site in question for only four days when the deadly collapse occurred. He and another worker were standing inside a trench, measuring 11 feet deep and about seven feet wide, when it collapsed.

My opinion

The OHSA for Ontario has section of the ‘Construction’ regulation 213/91 that covers aspects of digging and working around a trench. (sections 234-242) It is my opinion that all employers review these particular sections to better understand the responsibilities and to better protect their workers. Life is too short. Find out what the government has in place for safety and apply it.

Sometimes I get tired of writing posting after posting about these types of things but someone has to do it. It might as well be me.

Remember — In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety need including ‘Construction Trenching’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

12 thoughts on “Blog Post #201 – New Glasgow Fined in Deadly Trench Collapse”

Leave a Comment