Collapsed trench breaks worker’s leg

Moncton, N.B. paving company fined $8,000

MacArthur’s Paving and Construction of Moncton, N.B. has been fined $6,400, plus a victim surcharge of $1,600.

An employee of MacArthur’s was in a trench installing a water pipe when the ground behind him caved in and his leg was broken. The trench was 7 feet deep and did not have any caging, benching or sloping to make it safe. MacArthur’s Paving and Construction pleaded guilty to a charge under 182(1) of Regulation 91-191 under the New Brunswick OHS Act. The company failed to ensure that no employee enters an excavation or trench 1.2 metres or more deep unless the walls are supported by shoring, bracing, caging or that the walls are sloped or benched.

The same incident resulted in a charge to Todd Stannard, the excavator operator, for failing to ensure the health and safety of any persons at his place of employment. Stannard pleaded not guilty and his trial had not yet taken place as of press time.

This write-up originally appeared in the April/May 2019 edition of Canadian Occupational Safety.