Worker killed after trench wall collapses

City fined $133,000 after ruling says employee was not properly protected

Worker killed after trench wall collapses

The City of Humboldt in Saskatchewan has been fined $95,000 with a $38,000 surcharge, a total amount of $133,000, following the death of a worker.

The incident took place on Sept. 18, 2021, in Humboldt, when a worker was fatally injured after a trench wall collapsed.

The city was charged with contravening subsection 263(1) of The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 or being an employer, failing to ensure that a worker present in a trench that is more than 1.2 metres deep, is protected from cave-ins or sliding material by cutting back the upper portion of the walls of the trench in accordance with subsection 260(2); installing a temporary protective structure; or a combination of cutting back the walls to the slope specified in subsection 260(2) and installing a temporary protective structure that extends at least 300 millimetres above the base of the cut-back, resulting in the death of a worker.

$20K fine

Meanwhile, Mackenzie Art Gallery Inc. was charged $14,000 with a $5,600 surcharge, for a total amount of $19,600 for an injury to a worker.

The incident occurred on Jan. 20, 2020, when a worker was injured while using a table saw.

The company was charged with contravening subsection 137(1) of the regulations or being an employer or contractor, failing to provide an effective safeguard where a worker may contact a dangerous moving part of a machine, resulting in the serious injury of a worker.

Critical injuries

Earlier, an Ontario court charged British Columbia company Give and Go Prepared Foods Corp. a fine of $80,000 plus a 25-per-cent victim surcharge for critical injuries to one worker.

The incident took place on Aug. 28, 2019, when a worker was standing at a conveyor line sliding cartons off a belt and pushing them into a machine at the company’s production facility in Ontario.

While the worker was moving a tray from the conveyor to an overflow table, the worker’s hand was pulled into the pinch-point and sustained injuries.

A Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development investigation revealed that at the time the worker was injured, the worker had not been made aware of hazards associated with the machine being operated.

“Accordingly, the employer committed the offence of failing to comply with section 25(2)(d) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act,” according to the Ontario government.

Previously, Ontario Inc. – operating as Truly Green – was fined $70,000 after pleading guilty to violations that led to a critical injury on a worker. Also, B.C. employer Precision Diversified Oilfield Services Corp. – also known as Precision Drilling Canada LP or Precision Drilling – was ordered to pay $206,892.98 after one of its workers was injured in the workplace.