worker walking

ACA Creates Silica Guidelines

In the fall of 2013 the Occupational Health and Safety presented to the ACA Safety WCB Committee on Silica exposure sampling. OHS worksite sampling found many vertical sites and workers across numerous occupations exposure higher than the limit. Awareness was low and in many instances safe procedures were not in use. With that in mind the Alberta Construction Association began in 2014 to look create a best practice for our members. Through the hard work of a number of volunteers we have created a best practice guideline.

Alberta’s construction industry has a statutory obligation to minimize harm to their workers from occupational exposure to crystalline silica and related products, with a statutory occupational exposure limit of .025 grams per cubic metre air per 8 hour working day.

Silica and related products are found in numerous construction materials, and testing of Alberta commercial construction sites has found that the dust and debris created through numerous construction tasks (eg. concrete coring, sanding of drywall) has the potential to expose all trades on a site to the hazard.

The Alberta Construction Association has developed the attached documents for your use.  While these practices are not mandatory, they provide guidance to assist members in assessing and minimizing exposure to site specific silica hazards.  The Association strongly urges your firm to make use of these documents and work to achieve best practices to safeguard your employees and achieve regulatory compliance.

ACA thanks the approximately three dozen industry volunteers that created these documents.  The practices are living documents and will improve with continued member input.

ACA is working with the Alberta Construction Safety Association to develop awareness and supervisor training for 2017.  Once these practices are well established on Alberta jobsites, ACA plans to test with OHS to obtain hard evidence to confirm whether the current statutory limit is technically and economically feasible.

ACA Silica Best Practices 2016

ACA Silica Protection Operating Procedure 2016

OH&S original presentation November 7, 2013


Scholarships Application Deadline Extended

The Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Scholarship Program has been extended to July 15, 2016 for all Apprentices. The program provides more than 370 annual scholarships of $1,000 each.

The extension was made due to the Fort McMurray wildfires and extended to all Albertans considering applications.

Click here to access the application.


Staying Cool at Construction Sites

We have officially crossed into summer and as kids finish up their school year so too will the heat be turned up across the province after our relatively warm spring. With this in mind we once again would like to discuss how to avoid heat related illnesses.

Obviously owners of construction companies are very concerned about worker safety, and making sure they are able to handle conditions, whether extreme cold or heat, is an important solution to avoiding workers having to take sick days due to heat stroke or issues with extreme cold.

Here are a few points to keep in mind from Construction Connect:

Hydration, as one works in the heat we lose a lot of water through perspiration and one of the easiest ways to avoid dehydration is to have drinking water on hand.  You can also supplement that with electrolytes found in some juices, coconut milk or sports drinks when needed.

Dressing for the climate, loose fitting light colour clothing which either breaths, like cotton, or other moisture wicking clothes help to keep perspiration off and help to cool off quicker.Start early, with air temperatures usually at their highest between 3:00pm and 6:00pm.  It is important to do as much work as possible before the hottest part of the day.

Sunscreen should be generously and consistently reapplied throughout the day to ward off the effects of sun exposure.

For further tips please click here.