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Phone App Making it Easier to Work Safe on Construction Sites

Sep
11

Phone App Making it Easier to Work Safe on Construction Sites
- reprinted story by Ashley Robinson, REGINA LEADER-POST, published on: September 10, 2017

Over the years, the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) has heard the same excuses when it comes to workplaces not following the Occupational Health and Safety legislation — “I didn’t know.”

“There really wasn’t an excuse anymore to be able to say I couldn’t get the information quickly and it’s a real challenge on that end. But it also brings a lot of awareness to companies that this stuff is important, it’s critical and that you’ve got a way to avoid having these fines or convictions,” said Collin Pullar, president of the SCSA.

Last week, the SCSA launched a mobile-phone app which highlights the main OHS legislation relating to the construction sector. The app covers 20 different parts of the OHS legislation relating to construction and explains them in easy to understand language. There is also a direct link to the actual legislation and other resources, such as courses ran by the Construction Safety Association itself.

“We were kind of excited to have that all condensed into a simple app. There’s lots of other topics that will be coming out later and we’ll also be using it as a platform for some other future developments that will be added in there,” Pullar said.

The OHS legislation is more than 500 pages and outlines all of the provincial workplace health and safety rules in legal terms. With the legislation being such a big and technical document to carry around, it wasn’t always the easiest for employers and employees to review on site.

“Not every worker can carry around a big book but they always carry their phones. So they can run back to the truck, or go back to the tool box or wherever they keep it when they’re working and do a quick reference,” Pullar said.

There is also a desktop website people can use. Pullar said in addition to the 20 topics currently covered on the app, there will be more added in the future.

Since Aug. 1 there has been 11 companies fined with OHS violations. On Wednesday, as the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association launched its’ app, the province released information about four companies fined for OHS violations.

On Aug. 25 Allcann Wood Suppliers was fined $40,000 in Prince Albert provincial court. The charges stemmed from an incident which took place Oct. 29, 2015 near Prince Albert. A worker was removing debris from a wood peeler and had several fingers severed after coming in contact with the rotating teeth.

As well, Cactus Roofing Ltd. was fined $4,200 on Aug. 24 in Saskatoon provincial court in regards to an incident on Oct. 28 where an occupational health officer saw workers on a site not using fall protection or personal protective equipment.

Xray Roofing was fined $2,800 on Aug. 24 in Saskatoon provincial court in regards to a work site inspection on June 20, 2016 where an officer noticed workers not using proper safety equipment.

As well, Michael Groulx, operating as Mico Construction, was fined $2,800 on Aug. 24 in Saskatoon provincial court in regards to an incident on Oct. 11 where an officer observed workers not using proper fall protection or safety equipment at a site.