Two Workers Killed in a Trench! Why! We Know What to Do.

Recently two construction workers were killed and two are in hospital because of a horrific trench collapse in Ajax.  These are preventable deaths.

The requirements for trenching are well established in every North American Jurisdiction.

Slope the sides, shore the walls or use a trench box. 

See the video from Global news here.

See the trenching requirements for several jurisdictions below.



British Columbia

Companies under Canadian jurisdiction

See more on trenching safety from IHSA in Ontario

See a trenching safety video from WorkSafeBC here.

What do you think happened?
What can we do to prevent this horrific incidents?

When Is It Too Hot To Work?

Heat records are falling all over the world and there is little relief at night because nighttime temperatures are not dropping like they used to.  If you work outside or in a hot environment such as a steel mill, kitchen, bakery or even an unairconditioned office you are in uncharted thermal territory.

Your body must maintain a fairly constant temperature (around 37 Celsius).  If your body temperature gets too high because of internally generated heat from physical activity, radiant heat from the environment (such as the sun or large ovens in a bakery) or contact with hot air or other materials, it tries to cool itself and if it cannot, heat exhaustion or heat stroke can occur. 

One of the main ways the body cools it self is through the evaporation of sweat.  If your sweat cannot evaporate because of the large amount of moisture in the air (humidity) you can easily overheat.  That is why the humidity of the air is so important when discussing heat stress.

Everyone has a different tolerance to heat stress. This is affected by age, fitness and specific medical conditions and personal adaptation to the heat.   If you work in a hot environment continuously for several weeks you will become more proficient at working in the heat (acclimatized). 

Check it out! COVID-18 What you need to know?

The legislative requirements regarding work in the heat vary by province. Some provinces have no maximum heat exposure limits while others such as British Columbia have specific regulations.

Let’s try to keep it simple!
Working in the heat can be deadly! All the Canadian Provinces have the requirement that the employer take reasonable precautions for the safety of the worker. And workers across Canada have the right to refuse unsafe work.  If you feel faint, lightheaded, uncoordinated or ill at any time let your boss know and rest in a cool airconditioned area if possible. Heat stress can quickly escalate to heat stroke which can put your life in danger. Even if you feel fine check in with the other people in your area to make sure they are okay. Drink plenty of water while working and continue to drink water even when you are off work to make sure your internal water supplies are topped up for the next day.

Let’s get a little more complex now.  The most accepted heat guideline in the world is from the American Conference of Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).  So, this is the best guideline to follow at work however, this is tricky to use because you need a Wet Bulb Glove Temperature Gauge (WBGT) and a consultant to measure it for you.  

A simple way of assessing workers exposure to heat stress has been developed in Ontario. The scale uses the Humidex which is a Canadian innovation which uses the temperature and the humidity to create a number that reflects the perceived temperature.  Any levels above 30 will lead to discomfort for healthy adults and safety measures such as taking frequent breaks that increase in time with increasing temperature and the drinking of plenty of water.  At levels above 40 all unnecessary activity should be stopped.

See the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers for a great humidex calculator that also gives some basic safety measures to follow when the temperature gets hot.

How do you keep cool when the heat is on?  Let us know.

How To Get a Job and Make More Money in 8 Easy Steps

Finding a job can be difficult at times but as long as you follow the 8 step process listed below you will be well on your way to making more money.

1. Write down what kind of job(s) you are looking for and in what industry.
For example are you looking for a job in construction, manufacturing retail, information technology, medical fields or the financial industry.
It helps to be flexible, so list any work areas that you think would be a good fit for you.

Be realistic though, for example you are not likely to get a job as an electrical engineer if you have had no training or experience.

2. Start working on your resume. 
Almost every position will require you to submit a resume.  Don’t worry about formatting at this stage.  Write down any training, experience and skills that you have that apply to the main jobs you listed in part 1.  For example, WHMIS training, basic occupational health and safety awareness training, bookkeeping experience, drywall finishing.

Many different companies can help you build a great looking resume but we are not there yet.  This will be discussed later.

3. Look online or in local newspapers for jobs similar to what you are looking for. 
Write down the requirements that they are asking for that you already have and those you will have to obtain.

Several sites to find job opportunities are listed below. We didn’t list the websites for every provincial job bank but it will be easy to find the site for the province you are in if it is not listed below.  Some of the websites allow you to sign up to get an email everyday with the latest jobs that meet your requirements.

For students

Government of Canada Job Bank.

Jobs and employment Alberta

British Columbia – WorkBC

New Brunswick Jobs

Employment Ontario

Québec Emploi – Online Employment Service

Indeed is the #1 job site in the world

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet.

4. Communicate with your friends, relatives and former colleagues and let them know you’re looking for a job.
You may receive referrals to open positions or useful advice for your job search. It may be hard to admit that you are unemployed but most people have been out of a job at least once and will be eager to help you out.

5. Finish up your resume. 
Most of the government sites above have advice on building an effective resume. There are many private companies that will help you build your resume. It may be worth paying for a service to help you produce a great resume. Have several people read over your resume to ensure it has no errors and makes you look good.  It is important to remember that you have to emphasize what value you will bring to the company.

Some useful websites follow below.

Government of Canada resume Builder.

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

CNET Best Resume Builder

6. Build a cover letter. 
Write a cover letter and then customize it for each job you apply for. You are trying to sell the company on you. The cover letter should highlight the education, skills and experience that you have that that is listed in the job description and explain why you would be great at the job. Make sure the cover letter includes the three things listed below.

  1. How your experience meets job requirements.
  2. How your work skills meet job requirements.
  3. Why you want to work at the organization.

There are many different websites that have information on cover letters. Some are listed below.

Balance Careers


Youth Central Australia

Harvard Business Review

7. Continuously work at getting the job. 
Keep researching jobs using the websites listed in step 3 and send out applications all day, every day.  It’s common for people to send many resumes and cover letters to different places before being invited for a job interview. Look for volunteer opportunities that will help get you the experience you need.   Don’t get discouraged when your dream job doesn’t come through immediately, keep working at it, the opportunity will come.

8. Get ready for the interview.
Most companies will have a phone interview and then at least one in person interview. If you got this far you have a good chance at the job.  Being well prepared will increase your chances substantially.  Since the interview is so important, we will be discussing this in an upcoming post.

Please let us know of any tricks or tips you have for getting a job in the comments below.