Matthew Dafoe

Meet our employees

Matthew Dafoe

Health and Safety Manager at The Crossing Company

What’s your name and role, and what division do you work under at The Crossing Group?

My name is Matthew Dafoe, and I am the Health and Safety Manager at The Crossing Company.

Where did you start and what has your career path been like at The Crossing Group?

In 2011 I began as a green Roughneck through a tough winter in Fort McMurray. The next year I was given the opportunity to run tanks for one of our most skilled Rig Managers. It wasn’t easy to live up to expectations (maybe my own more than his), but I must have done something right because the next year, I was given yet another opportunity and was promoted to Driller.

Over the next six years, I took on several additional responsibilities in the company. One of them was helping with hazard assessment and process development. Three drillers, myself included, were sent to training and earned our NCSO designations. We gained skills that helped us serve the group by bridging the gap between the field and the office.

I then moved into a Safety Advisor role for two years, beginning in 2017. This role allowed me to give more attention to the implementation of our newly developed Safety Management System. During this time, I began to study OHS through the University of Alberta and eventually earned my OHS Certificate and Diploma, as well as the CRST credential.

Later in 2019, I was given the opportunity to serve the organization as the Health and Safety Manager.

What’s the most rewarding (or favourite) part of your role?

In my role I get to help develop people. The Health and Safety Management system isn’t just about going home safe every day, it’s a pathway to autonomy and mastery.

I administer a system that promotes excellence and provides the means of achieving that. When I see people advance and move through the system, it’s a great feeling. Staff members that were once green hands for me on my first drilling jobs are now part of our leadership group, and I can see bits of my own approach in them. It’s pretty special, to be honest.

What’s your favourite thing about working at The Crossing Group?

My favourite part about working with The Crossing Group is the collaboration. We are a group that genuinely cares about the people and executes to the highest standard. We learn from our mistakes and provide the best possible service.

I have access to experts in HDD and trenchless fields, which I have personally benefited from. We work hard at developing each other here, and it’s an honour to be a part of such a solutions focused team.

The saying goes, “you don’t learn anything on an easy hole”. My favorite project has to be the implementation of the Safety Management System. We are essentially asking people to do something atypical, which is take ownership of safety and operationalize it to the point where it’s just the way we do things. There have been roadblocks and resistance, but as a group, we have overcome these and continue to as our abilities advance and develop.

The growth over the years has been amazing to watch. These guys truly know how to get it done.

How would you describe the culture at The Crossing Group?

One word – family.

The bond that develops when you work in suboptimal conditions and have to overcome barriers and challenges is hard to find. Long days and nights, hard winters, and technically demanding jobs require a lot of trust in each other’s abilities. That trust fosters the desire to get better at the given craft and provide the best possible service to each other.

What advice would you give to someone looking to work in a role such as yours at The Crossing Group?

If you’re looking to work in a role like mine, I would suggest you show up, put in your best every day, be service and solutions focused, and simply care.

I started as a green Roughneck, and while I don’t have a special formula, I can say that I came to work, said yes, asked questions, took on responsibility, and tried to provide the best possible product to the group. This team believed in me, and I try to put in the effort to honour that every day.


Tunnel Boring and Pipe Jacking Systems are used to hydraulically install underground pipelines up to 4.2 m (168 in) in OD range within strict alignment and grade tolerances. The likelihood of settling or sloughing is very low. Wheel machines are equipped with various cutter heads and sand shelves. A closed-face attachment is available for boring in unstable ground conditions. This versatile system can be easily adapted to work with any jacking pipe, in any pipe joint length. It can accommodate a wide range of pipe diameters.

Tunnel Boring Machines are used to excavate tunnels with a circular cross section through a variety of soil and rock strata. They can bore through hard rock, sand, and almost anything in between. Tunnel diameters can range from 1 m and exceed 15 m (3 ft to 49 ft).

The Crossing Group - The Tunneling Company - Tunnel Boring - Pipe Jacking - Trenchless Construction - Tunneling - Augering, Boring & Pipe Ramming


A boring technique commonly used for installing oil & gas pipelines ranging from 51 mm to 1067 mm (2 in to 42 in) in diameter without leaving casing in the ground. Product pipe is welded to steel casings and either pushed or pulled through the ground in sections. The casing is cut off and removed, leaving just the product pipe. Maximum installation length is 150 m (492 ft).

The Crossing Group - The Tunneling Company - Slip Boring - Trenchless Construction - Tunneling - Augering, Boring & Pipe Ramming


A pneumatic hammer is attached to the inside edge of the casing. The front of the DTH breaks cobles, boulders and even solid rock into small pebbles or dust. The spoil makes its way through the hammer and into the casing, where it is removed by airway augers.

The Crossing Group - The Tunneling Company - Down The Hole Hammer - DTH - Trenchless Construction - Tunneling - Augering, Boring & Pipe Ramming


A Guided Boring Machine (GBM) is used to install 305 mm to 3.6 m diameter pipe (12 in to 144 in) with grade and alignment precision. It is commonly used for installations 50 m to 150 m in length (164 ft to 492 ft) or when line and grade accuracy is critical in displaceable soil. Our GBM is extremely versatile and our customers continually approach us with new applications.

The pipe installation involves a two-step process where launch and reception shafts are strategically located to minimize surface disruption. A pilot tube with a theodolite guidance system is then pushed through the ground at the precise grade and alignment specified in the design into the reception shaft. A reaming head is welded to the pilot tube and the casing and the pilot tube is used as a guide to install casing. The GBM can be used in conjunction with auger boring or pipe ramming methodologies.

The Crossing Group - The Tunneling Company - Guided Boring - Trenchless Construction - Tunneling - Augering, Boring & Pipe Ramming


Pipe Ramming is used in a wide variety of soil types including gravel, cobble or sand. A pneumatic hammer is attached to the back of the casing pipe and driven through the material at any angle: from horizontal to vertical. The material is cleaned out of the pipe using an auger boring machine. Pipe Ramming methods are used for pipe diameters of 305 mm to 3.6 m (12 in to 144 in).

The Crossing Group - The Tunneling Company - Pneumatic Pipe Ramming - Tunneling - Augering, Boring & Pipe Ramming