ACA and WCB Expand Training Partnership

Supporting injured workers and maximizing employment of talent are at the heart of an expanding partnership between ACA and WCB.

ACA and the WCB recently launched an initiative to work with industry to retrain injured workers to entry level BIM practitioners.  Herman Bruin of Bruin’s Plumbing and Heating , former Chairman of ACA, ACSA, former Board member of Alberta Apprenticeship, and a former director of the WCB, responded by challenging ACA and the WCB to open the program to other occupations and all injured workers irrespective of occupational background.  The WCB has readily agreed to expand the occupation list with estimator as the next occupation.

Employers that are interested in hiring an entry level estimator and potentially receiving WCB’s Training on the job wage assistance should read the program opportunity and contact ken.gibson@albertaconstruction.net.

ACA Review Summarizes Emerging Skill Sets and Industry Responses for Alberta’s Construction Industry

As part of ACA’s vision of helping member companies seize opportunities and reduce risks they face, ACA’s Board tasked the association to review recent studies on emerging skills for the global construction industry.  The literature review examined over a dozen studies from World Economic Forum and other sources.  The picture that emerges is one of rapid change in which industry embraces skill sets to utilize digitization and automation to maximize productivity and encourage recruitment of new workers.  These findings support the direction of Canadian Construction Association’s Roadmap for Change 2023 which envisions “Construction will be an employer of choice, attracting a diverse and tech savvy workforce”.

The ACA report also provides a current snapshot of how Alberta Local Construction Associations are leaders in assisting members on this journey by offering courses, coordinating communities of practice, and partnering with outside sources of expertise.

ACA commissioned this review as one initiative in developing a broader workforce strategy to support members in achieving the vision.

OHS Approvals Process Allows for Different Health and Safety Committee Approaches

There are significant updates to compliance requirements under the OHS Act that have come into effect starting June 1, 2018.  Some employers have expressed uncertainty on how best to comply to provisions where they feel the definitions of what constitutes a construction work site, who is the prime contractor, or the make-up of a Joint Worksite Health and Safety Committee (JWSHSC) may be unclear.  One frequent question is the need for individual employer as well as site JWSHSCs on the same site.

Section 56 of the new OHS Act provides the opportunity for prime contractors, employers, and other parties affected by the legislation to seek approval for an alternate approach. An approval allows for a statutory Director to approve a process, equipment, standard, course or training agency, or an alternative to strict compliance with a specific legislated provision.

You can find out more from OHS on health and safety committees at https://www.alberta.ca/work-site-health-safety-committees.aspx. This includes the link to the Self-Evaluation tool. Completion of the tool is required for all HSC approval applications. ACA recommends, and OHS requires, that applications contain sufficient information to address the primary intent of the legislated changes, namely, ensuring a safe worksite with:

  • Workers having knowledge of the hazards and access to basic health and safety information,
  • Worker participation in health and safety discussions and committees, and
  • Workers having the right to refuse to perform dangerous work and be protected from reprisal for such refusal

ACA is working with OHS to share best practices based on the experiences of such approvals.