Anne Marie Williams said the fines issued by Judge Paul Mason should raise life-saving awareness in the industry.
"It's unfortunate that somebody has to die before laws are changed and people take note," Williams said, shortly after Mason's ruling.
"But hopefully the construction industry will pay closer attention. Hopefully this will prevent other lives being lost in the future."
Williams' husband, Randy, was crushed Feb. 14, 2008, when a 15-metre wall of soil, rock and debris collapsed as he waited to haul away material from a southwest Calgary construction site.
The dead man's eldest son, Ryan, said it was unfortunate the two companies convicted under the Occupational Health and Safety Act will avoid having to pay the fines by declaring bankruptcy.
"I just find it cowardly somebody could claim bankruptcy to dodge a bullet," he said of Perera Development Corp. (PDC) and Perera Shawnee Ltd. (PSL), the companies responsible for the work site.
Mason earlier found PDC guilty of 10 charges and PSL guilty of three under the act for failing to ensure worker safety at the site.
He suggested the conditions were akin to those you'd find in a third-world country as the 15-metre wall -- 10 times the legal maximum -- was built without any temporary shoring, or cut back.
Crown attorney Alison Magill had sought fines of up to $1.5 million and $1 million for each company respectfully, to send a message to others in the industry.
Magill noted the condo project being built on the site was developed during a housing boom.
"Buildings were going up everywhere," she said. "The evidence is that there was cost-cutting and attempts to get the job done as quickly as possible."
Mason, who heard heart-wrenching statements from Williams' widow and his only daughter, said no fine could mend the pain caused by his death.
"These numbers bear no relation to the value of the life lost," he said.