ACA Disappointed With Bill 30

The government of Alberta announced Monday a comprehensive piece of legislation addressing perceived concerns around updating Worker’s Compensation Board and Occupational Health and Safety.

The Government suggests these reviews, legislation and code changes are intended to bring fairness and better service for workers. During the process to create this legislation the government advocated that they would consult industry. The impression left from Bill 30 is that the government has not listened to industry’s legitimate concerns.

ACA Chair Paul Heyens said, “During fragile economic times for our province we are disappointed about this legislation and feel that it will be an extraordinary burden on employers. The ability of our members to continue to provide good paying jobs to workers, invest in safety programming, and support their communities may be compromised by the additional costs.”

The OHS review did not provide the opportunity for government to respond to industry requests to see the evidence that joint worker / employer health and safety committees improve worker engagement and employer safety performance.

During the WCB review the costs increases were set at 62 million, now they have increased to 94.5 million according to the government but there is a lack of full costing. The system will now have more red tape and financial costs.

Getting things right for workers also means getting it right for their employers. Even ACA’s request, agreed to in WCB Review recommendation 24, that WCB amend its policies to review a worker’s continued benefits in situations where an employer terminates a returning employee for egregious acts was rejected by the government.

The overall idea to make the WCB and OHS more responsive and responsible to workers is laudable. We believe it helps no one to have an unfair process. But this same measurement should also go for employers. They are the ones taking on the burden of financing the WCB and feel there should be equity in how it deals with all parties.

ACA will continue to advocate for amendments and changes in the legislation to help employers deal with these rapid and repeated changes. We will also work with the Industry Task Force to challenge the assumptions of this legislation.

ACA represents 3200 member firms in commercial, industrial, and Institutional construction industry across Alberta. Construction employs one in nine working Albertans.

For more information and background see the links below:

Government of Alberta
Bill 30
Bill 30 Technical Briefing slides
WCB Review Report

ACA Submissions and letters to Minister and Panel
ACA WCB review submission (2016)
ACA 2nd submission to WCB review panel January 2017
ACA Letter to the Minister February 1, 2017
ACA Letter to the Minister August 29, 2017
ACA submission to OHS Review

Past Articles
WCB and OHS Reviews has ACA Concerned
WCB Review Needs Careful Response But Surplus Should Be Refunded
ACA Responds to WCB Review Committee
ACA Shares Concerns With WCB Review Committee
ACA Requests to Speak to WCB Review Panel
ACA Provides Input to Review of WCB
Labour Minister Meets With ACA

Self-Driving Vehicles On Construction Sites

One of the hottest new issues in the automotive industry is self-driving cars. These vehicles are driven by computers using GPS, radars, and cameras to move them through their daily commutes. Of course along the way these vehicles are creating questions about how likely they are to be a common use.

Now these vehicles are entering into the workforce.  From self-driving mining trucks to the Built Robotics’ Autonomous Track Loader (ATL).  The ATL is powered by a rooftop cargo carrier that is filled with electronic equipment, including Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR).  LIDAR utilizes a pulsing laser in order to measure distance and range from objects around it. These lasers are specifically designed to withstand high-vibration and high-impact environments, like the ones found in the construction industry.

The vehicle is currently doing testing on sites near the home city of San Francisco but if it proves to be successful at production it could become a feature of the job site no different than any other tool you might find.

You can find out more about it including a video package of the vehicle in action here.

Skilled Trades Will Enable The Future Of Canada’s Economy

Innovation in the new era of work will see more automation and more computer design aspects, such as BIM, enter the workforce. As we enter this new phase the workforce demographic shift is changing the age of our workers and their experience. Nobina Robinson argues that skilled trades are as important as ever in the changing market.

The future will be built through skilled trades using the tools that will allow the digital economy to flourish.

Read the entire article here.