Trench Collapse Fatality Results in Fine for Company Involved


A company has been fined over the deaths of 2 Ballarat workers that died last year in March when the trench they were working in collapsed.

The incident was investigated by WorkSafe who alleged that the company had failed to properly supervise its employees and did not provide the appropriate safety equipment, as a result one man was instantly killed while the other died in hospital after being buried waist deep in the trench.

The families of the 2 workers are campaigning for the introduction of industrial manslaughter laws.

This tragedy should serve as a warning to other companies about the risks of failing to provide a safe working environment for employees and the importance of supervision when high risk work is being undertaken.


Ballarat Trench Collapse – Two Killed

The dangers of working in trenches on construction sites has once again come into the spotlight after two workers have passed away following a trench collapse incident at a Ballarat construction site.

A man working in the trench died on the scene.

One worker, a 20 year old man was trapped for 2 hours, covered up to his waist in dirt in the trench about 6 metres deep.

His co-workers tried to free him using tools and their hands but eventually an excavator had to be used to free the man who was then transported to hospital with serious injuries. Unfortunately he died in hospital.

Man Hospitalised After Trench Collapse

A man in his twenties was hospitalised after a trench wall collapsed on him at the NorthConnex construction in West Pennant Hills. Emergency crews were called to the site where they discovered an injured male worker.

The man had been trapped in the collapsed trench but workers managed to extricate the man before emergency crews arrived.

The man suffered back pain and was taken to Westmead Hospital for treatment.

The collapse occurred approximately 2 kilometres into the NorthConnex tunnel.

SafeWork NSW inspectors visited the site where an investigation was launched. The cause of the collapse has not yet been discovered.


Safety Alert Issued – Trench Support Systems

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland released a safety alert highlighting the risk of trench collapse when a shoring box or trench support system doesn’t extend the full depth of the trench.
The warning comes after an incident last month involving a worker who was seriously injured when the ground collapsed in a trench, the worker was crushed.
Another incident occurred on the Gold Coast in 2016, when a shoring box did not extend for the entire depth of the trench, injuring the worker.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland said the collapse of any un-shored section of trench can occur because of a number of reasons including the type of ground, ground water, rain and loading applied to the ground. Wherever a trench is excavated below a shoring box, the weight of the shoring box can increase the likelihood of ground collapse because the trench wall has a load applied within its zone of influence. Read more about the safety alert at