MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


David Armstrong

Geographical Areas

Canada, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island


Annually, close to 1,000 Canadian workers die due to work-related injuries, exposures and disease. A lack of training and skills can contribute to this loss of life for many. Employers of all kinds, including municipalities, have a responsibility to protect workers and reduce risk to the organization through training activities. Known hazards, like the operation of vehicles and equipment require training before a worker can be deemed competent. Inevitably, preventable and non-preventable collisions will occur involving fleet vehicles and equipment. Documenting and analyzing preventable collisions as part of a collision investigation program, can help organizations understand why preventable collisions are occurring and how they may prevent further accidents. Survey respondents for this research study revealed that as a municipal fleet grows in size (more than 1000 fleet assets) and as municipal populations grow, municipalities are more likely to use a centralized and consistent training program. Further, municipalities with centralized and consistent training programs are more likely than municipalities with other training types to have a collision investigation program. Lastly, municipalities who provided preventable collision data through the survey, six of seven use a centralized training approach. This research reveals that municipalities are not measuring the impact and effectiveness of vehicle and equipment training programs. Additionally, municipalities are not using collision related data to understand why preventable collisions are occurring, influence training programs and reduce risk in meaningful ways. The costs of collisions is not being documented across the silos that exist in the municipal organizational structure. Lastly, from a policy perspective, requirements for fleet operators to document and analyze collision data should be a baseline expectation to protect their drivers and others sharing the road. Ultimately more research and data is required to support municipalities across Canada and the vehicle and equipment training programs they offer.