Ministry of Labour Spring Safety Blitz of Excavation Hazards on Construction Worksites


Published on: 08/04/2014

In May, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) will be performing a safety blitz of construction sites where excavation activities are taking place. The blitz will focus on projects that feature sewer and watermain, gas, and electrical construction work. In particular, the MOL will look to visit employers: with a high incidence of lost-time injuries involving excavation workers; where complaints have been received; where there is a history of non-compliance; and, who have not previously been inspected by the MOL.

The objective of this blitz is to ensure that employers are:

• undertaking compliant shoring practices and trenching procedures;

• utilizing appropriate equipment and traffic control in trenches/excavated areas;

• following proper procedures when working in close proximity to power lines;

• obtaining necessary locates before excavation begins; and,

• planning worksites for appropriate ladder access into trenches.

If a MOL inspector arrives on your site, they will be focussing attention on things such as: availability of locates, soil strength, use of shoring and timbering, use of required trench support systems, and related precautions that must be taken before an excavation is begun.

This blitz is part of the Safe at Work Ontario enforcement strategy which is aimed at increasing compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

If you have any questions about this Safety Blitz or with the Safe at Work Ontario strategy, please contact Patrick McManus ( or 905-629-8819).

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