News Feed

WCB releases 2020 operating results

May
3
 

 

 
 

 

WCB releases 2020 operating results

 

Ninety per cent of Sask. employers had zero injuries and zero fatalities

 

  • The WCB remains fully funded at 112.4 per cent
  • Workplace Total injury rate decreases to 4.46 per 100 workers
  • Time Loss injury rate decreases to 1.78 per 100 workers

 

Regina, Sask., April 30, 2021 – The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) remained fully funded in 2020 with the ability to cover the future costs of all claims in the system. The WCB’s 2020 annual report was tabled in the provincial legislature today.

 

“Having a solid funding position is important to ensure continued benefits and programs to help workers who are injured at work,” says Gord Dobrowolsky, the WCB’s chairperson. “As well, employers can be sure they are protected from lawsuits and that they will continue to have an effective, efficient compensation system.”

 

The WCB’s 2020 results include:

  • The workplace Total injury rate (total number of new workplace injury claims reported to, and accepted by, the WCB in the year) in 2020 decreased to 4.46 injuries per 100 workers. This is a 10 per cent decrease from the 2019 Total injury rate of 4.95 per 100 workers.
  • The 2020 Time Loss injury rate (total number of new workplace injury claims reported to, and accepted by, the WCB in the year that resulted in time lost from work) decreased to 1.78 injuries per 100 workers, down from the 2019 rate of 1.86 injuries per 100 workers. This represents a decrease of 0.08 per 100 workers, or of 4.3 per cent, from the 2019 rate. The 2020 Time Loss injury rate is the lowest rate in more than a decade.
  • Claim costs were $319.6 million in 2020 (up from $281.0 million in 2019). The benefits liabilities, which represent legislated obligations to pay the costs of all existing claims into the future, increased to $1,420.4 million in 2020 (compared to $1,328.1 million in 2019).
  • Claim durations and the number of Time Loss claims are two key drivers of compensation costs paid. The average duration of Time Loss claims increased to 45.27 days in 2020 (compared to 41.52 days in 2019). The WCB accepted 7,134 Time Loss claims in 2020. This is down from 8,036 Time Loss claims accepted in 2019.
  • The WCB’s Injury Fund was at $479.6 million as of year-end 2020 (compared to $567.3 million in 2019).
  • The WCB had premium revenue of $255.6 million in 2020 (down from $267.2 million in 2019) and investment income of $77.4 million in 2020 (compared to $277.1 million in 2019).
  • The average premium rate for 2020 remained at $1.17 per hundred dollars of payroll. This is the same premium rate as 2019.
  • The WCB covered 402,306 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in 2020, compared to 433,622 FTE workers in 2019.

In 2020, the WCB’s focus remained on its staff and customers – both workers and employers.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the WCB has worked to maintain its service to injured workers, with a particular focus on psychological health, by fully launching the psychological injuries unit to better serve workers with psychological health claims. As well, the WCB launched the Psychological Health and Safety Resource Centre on the WorkSafe Saskatchewan website for workers and employers, as part of a three-year partnership with renowned Canadian psychologist Dr. Joti Samra.

The WCB’s Employer Resource Centre, established in 2019, continued to provide support for employers across the province. The centre provides support materials and connects employers with the right person at the WCB to ensure employers have the tools they need.

In 2020, 90 per cent of employers achieved zero injuries and zero fatalities in the workplace, a slight improvement over the 88 per cent recorded each of the last four years.

“Despite the many challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to us, we are continuing to make real progress in meeting the WCB’s vision of eliminating injuries and restoring abilities,” says the WCB’s CEO Phil Germain. “In 2008, Saskatchewan had the second highest workplace injury rate in Canada. Now, thanks to the health and safety efforts of people around the province, our workplace injury rate has dropped by more than 56 per cent since then. Last year, fewer people and their families were affected because someone was hurt at work.”

The 2020 Time Loss injury rate improved to 1.78 per 100 workers, compared to the 2019 rate of 1.86 per 100 workers.

“The 2020 rate is an improvement. However, we cannot become complacent in our efforts to ensure the safety of all Saskatchewan workplaces,” says Germain. “Sadly, we lost 34 individuals in work-related deaths last year. Of those, 16 were from occupational disease and 18 were from motor vehicle crashes, traumatic events and heart attacks. Each one of these deaths had a shattering impact on the workers’ families and communities.”

In December of 2019, WorkSafe Saskatchewan launched the three-year Fatalities and Serious Injuries Strategy. This strategy works to address the high-risk industries, occupations and the tasks within those industries that are resulting in fatalities and serious injuries.

“Collaboration with our stakeholders is critical to understanding industry needs and delivering sustainable injury prevention outcomes,” says Germain. “By working together on initiatives like the strategy, we can all contribute to bringing our injury rates down and keeping all workers safe on the job.”

The WCB’s 2020 annual report is available at www.wcbsask.com and the WCB’s executive will provide further details at its annual general meeting teleconference scheduled for May 26.

 

30-

Media contact:
Carolyn Van der Veen

Director, Communications
Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board
Email: cvanderveen@wcbsask.com

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

WorkSafe Saskatchewan launches online psychological resource centre for Saskatchewan employers and workers

Apr
14

Regina, Sask., April 14, 2021 – In the past five years, psychological health claims have been on the rise across the province. To address these issues, WorkSafe Saskatchewan (the partnership between the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety) has launched a comprehensive online psychological health and safety resource centre. The centre provides employers and workers with resources to help develop psychologically healthy and safe workplaces.

“We’re very excited to launch the Psychological Health and Safety Resource Centre in partnership with Dr. Joti Samra,” said Kevin Mooney, the WCB’s vice-president of prevention and employer services. “Over the past several years, we’ve seen Saskatchewan workplaces dealing with unique psychological health and safety challenges. That reinforces the importance of providing Saskatchewan employers and workers with the tools they need to support mental health and safety in their workplaces.”

The resource centre is part of a long-term strategy developed in partnership with Samra, one of Canada’s foremost psychological health and wellness experts. Samra is a national expert on issues relating to psychological health, wellness and resilience. Her research has contributed significantly to the evolution and development of a national standard for psychological health and safety in the workplace. She is also the CEO and founder of MyWorkplaceHealth, a full-suite national workplace consulting firm and clinic founder of Dr. Joti Samra, Psych. & Associates, a clinical counselling practice.

Psychological health claims still only account for a small percentage of the workplace claims submitted in Saskatchewan, but in recent years, those numbers are on the rise. From 2016 to 2020, the WCB has accepted 1,128 psychological injury claims. The number of accepted psychological injury claims has increased to 274 in 2020 from 109 in 2016.

The resource centre offers a variety of tools and resources to help Saskatchewan employers and workers develop psychological health and safety programs in their workplaces or enhance their existing efforts. In addition to tools for leaders and workers, the resource centre has a comprehensive list of provincial mental health resources, as well as webinars and workshops.

The centre also provides answers to some commonly asked questions about psychological health and safety and lists contact information for community mental health resources in Saskatchewan.

“Our team is very honoured to be working with WorkSafe Saskatchewan towards creating this publicly available resource centre on psychological health and safety that organizations are able to freely access to help them through their journey," says Samra. "Research statistics don’t lie – conservatively, one out of five of us will experience a psychological or mental health issue or illness every single year. Over the past year, we have witnessed increased rates of alcohol use, rates of depression have doubled and rates of anxiety have quadrupled. Now, more than ever, we have a critical imperative to take action towards enhancing our psychological health, wellness and resilience – as individuals and as organizations. Ultimately, healthy, resilient and thriving organizations and teams are comprised of healthy, resilient and thriving workers – both physically and psychologically."

The resource centre is located on the WorkSafe website, under the “Resources” tab.

 

-30-

 

For more information, please contact:

Bonnie Monteith

Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board

Phone: 306.787.4651

Email: bmonteith@wcbsask.com

 

Regina & District Chamber of Commerce  Responds to Provincial Budget

Apr
6

April 6, 2021
For Immediate Release

Regina & District Chamber of Commerce Responds to Provincial Budget

The Regina & District Chamber of Commerce responded to the budget by indicating that the budget really reflected the government’s election commitments like the Home Renovation Tax Credit, the SaskPower reduction, and the Active Families incentive. 

In addition, the budget reflects the environment that Saskatchewan people and businesses are facing, the continuation of COVID-19. 

The budget strongly focuses on COVID-19 initiatives from a health and safety perspective as well as programs which look to help businesses in the recovery process. 

“While the deficit of $2.6 billion is significant, once one takes into account that $1.5 billion is a response to COVID-19, and a further $415 million for a pension adjustment the deficit is much smaller than first viewed," said John Hopkins CEO of the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce.

One of the more interesting items within the budget is a $150 annual fee for those who use electric vehicles. The fee accounts for the use of Saskatchewan roadways which are at least in part funded by the Saskatchewan fuel tax. 

The same type of fee is charged in approximately 15 states including California. The policy reflects the growing trend toward electric vehicles and the need to maintain transportation infrastructure.

"The Regina & District Chamber of Commerce is strongly of the view that the government’s primary focus must be the health and safety of the people and businesses of the province as well as the economic recovery of the province," added Hopkins. “At the end of the day our province and the vast majority of the people of the province rely upon a healthy economy, one that is positioned for growth. We are on that trajectory with a great deal more to be done."


-30-
   

For more information please contact:  
John Hopkins  
Chief Executive Officer  
Regina & District Chamber of Commerce  
306.533.6464  
 

Correction Notice - SCSA E-News April 2021

Apr
6

The SCSA's recent e-newsletter emailed April 5, 2021, contains an error.

The webinar takes place on April 7, not on April 6 as noted in the text. 

Correction Notice - SCSA Annual Report 2021

Mar
25

The SCSA Vice Chairperson is listed as Keith Bird; it should read Ryan Smotra. The SCSA apologies for any confusion. 

CCA welcomes its 2021-22 board of directors with Ray Bassett at the helm as chair

Mar
12

OTTAWA, March 12, 2021 — The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is pleased to announce that Ray Bassett is the Chair of the 2021-22 Board of Directors. CCA sincerely thanks outgoing chair, Joe Wrobel, for his dedicated leadership.

Bassett is the Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer at Travelers Insurance Company of Canada, where he manages client relationships with national and larger regional construction companies, leads strategic initiatives in product development and technology, and guides the business strategy of the Construction Services Group for Travelers in North America.

A 37-year veteran of the construction surety industry, Bassett has led both claims and underwriting practices for leading national surety companies in Canada and is focused on improving collaboration and value among stakeholders in the construction industry, including public and private project owners, the construction and project finance lending community, financial ratings agencies, consultants, the construction law bar, and the surety industry.

Bassett joined the CCA Board of Directors in 2010, has chaired the Manufacturers, Suppliers & Services Council, as well an executive committee focused on federal prompt payment, which was instrumental in having industry concerns and recommendations addressed in the Federal Prompt Payment for Construction Work Act.

In his address to members at the annual general meeting, Bassett articulated one of CCA’s advocacy focuses for the association over the next year. “(We need) a long-term federal infrastructure plan, that is evidence-based, and is better aligned with the needs and priorities of provincial and municipal governments, and has a clear and uncluttered funding mechanism – this will bring more public and private projects to the market in a more predictable flow,” he said. “This is good for our industry and good for Canada.”

Joining Mr. Bassett on CCA’s 2021-22 Board of Directors are:

Jean François Arbour, President, Groupe SCV

Andrew Arnill, Operations Manager, West-Can Seal Coating Asphalt Products

David Bowcott, Global Director, Growth, Innovation & Insight, AON

Rob Carvell, Chief Operating Officer, Trane

Charles Caza, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Bird Construction

Nicole Chabot, Vice President, L. Chabot Enterprises Ltd

Leslie Doka, Director of Construction, Wright Construction

Trevor Doucette, Vice-President Stakeholder Management, Graham Construction & Engineering

Wayne Ferguson, Senior Vice President, EllisDon Corporation

John Flemming, President, Ocean Contractors

Nadine Fullarton, President, CANB, Moncton Northeast

Eric Gaulin, President & CEO, Telecon

Quentin Huillery, Chief Operating Officer, Ledcor

Russ Kerr, Branch General Manager, Vipond

Branden Kotyk, Division Manager, Western Canada, Victaulic

Patrick Lafrenière, Director of Projects, Atlantic, JCB Construction Canada

John Mollenhauer, President & CEO, Toronto Construction Association

Brendan Nobes, Director Major Projects, Rcs

Francis Roy, President, Groupe Humaco

CCA thanks these leaders for their generous commitment to the industry and to advance our united vision to Build a better Canada.

Notice of 2021 Annual General Meeting

Feb
26

The SCSA Annual General Meeting is on March 25, 2021. Registration is available at this link.

The SCSA's 2020 Financial Statements are available at this link. The SCSA's 2020 Financial Audit was carried out by KPMG.

Media Release - Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce Applauds Business Focus on Indigenous Engagement

Jan
13

MEDIA RELEASE – For Immediate Release

Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce Applauds Business Focus on Indigenous Engagement

January 13, 2021

Regina, SK – Following a year of upheaval, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC) continues its important work on the Indigenous Engagement Charter and applauds Saskatchewan business for their increased focus on Indigenous engagement despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
“Saskatchewan businesses are recognizing that Indigenous engagement is important not only for the growth of their organizations, but also for the province’s economy,” said Steve McLellan, CEO, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. “While COVID-19 has certainly been a distraction for some of our Indigenous Engagement Charter signatories, for others it allowed them to dedicate considerable time to their individual Indigenous engagement strategies. With businesses like JNE Welding, PCL, Meridian Surveys and Bit Service Company and many others encouraging staff to take Indigenous Awareness Training, we are very optimistic that more businesses are recognizing the importance of Indigenous engagement.”
 
Starting in 2019, the SCC embarked on several new projects to enhance Indigenous engagement for Saskatchewan businesses, including the launch of an Indigenous Engagement Charter, the creation of an Indigenous-owned business directory and offering several levels of Indigenous Awareness Training.
 
“The Indigenous Engagement Charter simply would not have been possible without the support of the investors, Saskatchewan businesses that stepped up to launch the charter in a big way”, said McLellan. “I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Nutrien, SaskPower, CIBC, Graham, Meridian Surveys, RBC, WorkSafe Saskatchewan, Farm Credit Canada, PCL, Cameco, and Scotiabank for their contributions.”
 
Sponsored by Nutrien and led by SCC Director of Indigenous Engagement Nick Crighton, the SCC’s Indigenous Awareness Training sessions are designed to inform members of the business community about the culture and history of Indigenous peoples in Saskatchewan. Current courses range from Level 1 to Level 3 with advanced courses offering an in-depth look at HR practices and cultural traditions.  
 
With the shift to online webinars because of COVID-19 restrictions, the SCC has seen a substantial increase in registrations and is reaching a broader audience throughout Saskatchewan with their virtual offerings. In 2020, the SCC saw over 1,200 registrations for their Indigenous Awareness Training, representing over 100 businesses in the province, and issued almost 500 Certificates of Participation.
 
Winter 2021 dates for Indigenous Awareness Training are open for registration and can be found on our Upcoming Events webpage.
 
Visit our website for more information on the Indigenous Engagement Charter.
 

-30-

 
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce serves as the voice of business and represents the interests of over 10,000 individual businesses, industry associations, and local chambers across the province through its chamber network. Information on the SCC’s Indigenous Awareness Training, Indigenous Engagement Charter and Indigenous Business Directory can be found at saskchamber.com or @SaskChamber on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
 
Contact:

Steve McLellan
CEO, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce
Cell: 306-533-7686
Email: smclellan@saskchamber.com

Regina Company Fined $14,000 for Violating OHS Regulations

Dec
21

On October 14, 2020, Josh Senger Construction Inc. pleaded guilty in Carlyle Provincial Court to violating one count under The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (OHS), 1996.

The Regina company was fined for contravening clause 12(c) of the OHS regulations (being an employer, fail to provide any information, instruction, training and supervision that is necessary to protect the health and safety of workers at work, resulting in the serious injury to a worker).

On December 11, 2020, the Court imposed a fine of $10,000, along with a $4,000 surcharge, for a total fine of $14,000.

The violation stemmed from an incident that occurred on September 20, 2018 near Wawota, Saskatchewan.  A load of material fell from the forks of a skid steer, injuring a worker.

Employers are required to provide safe and healthy workplaces, and must provide information, training and experience necessary for employees to perform their jobs safely.  For more information about workplace health and safety training and resources, visit www.worksafesask.ca or contact an industry safety association.

The Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety works with employers and workers to eliminate workplace injuries and illnesses through education, inspections and prosecutions.

-30-

For more information, contact:

Kate Crowley
Labour Relations and Workplace Safety
Regina
Phone: 306-787-3370
Email: kate.crowley@gov.sk.ca

MEDIA RELEASE SASK WCB: WCB holds 2021 average premium rate at 2020 rate

Dec
8

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Regina, Sask., Dec. 7, 2020 –The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) announced today that it will hold this year’s average employer premium rate at the 2020 rate of $1.17 and will cap industry level rates at 10 per cent. This board level hold is to provide a measure of economic relief to Saskatchewan businesses struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the WCB’s rate model, the 2021 average required rate should have been $1.23 per hundred dollars of payroll without the board level hold. The increase was driven by a combination of factors, including the economic slowdown caused by COVID-19 and an increase in compensation and health-care costs.

“Given the level of uncertainty surrounding Saskatchewan's economy as a result of the pandemic, the WCB board proposed a hold for 2021," said Minister responsible for the WCB Don Morgan. "By holding the rate at $1.17, the WCB will save employers approximately $13.4 million in 2021 premiums. This is in addition to approximately $1 million employers saved on interest and penalties in 2020."

Premium rates are generally determined by two key factors – claims costs and payroll.

“We recognize the impact of the COVID-19 virus across the province. Payroll is down, as many businesses struggle to stay afloat,” said WCB CEO, Phil Germain. “This assistance from the WCB will benefit those employers. This is just another example of how we all – including workers, employers and government – work together to overcome the many challenges caused by the current pandemic and subsequent economic slowdown.”

The 2021 average employer premium rate is $1.17 per hundred dollars of payroll, unchanged from 2020.

Prior to the premium rate plateauing in 2019, the average premium rate had been steadily declining, in conjunction with an overall reduction in work-related illnesses and injuries. In fact, the current average premium rate is 43 per cent below the 17-year high of $2.05 in 2004. However, WCB officials advise the rate may rise in 2022 if payroll costs remain low while claims costs continue to rise.

“We’ve seen a tremendous collective effort in recent years by workers, employers, safety associations and stakeholders to bring down the number of workplace injuries in our province,” said WCB chair Gord Dobrowolsky. “We’re making significant progress. In 2019, for the fourth year in a row, 88 per cent of Saskatchewan employers reported zero injuries in their workplaces. As well, the workplace total injury rate in our province has dropped by over 50 per cent since 2008.”

While overall injury rates are down, the number of serious injuries continues to be a concern. In 2019, serious injuries accounted for 12 per cent of total workplace injuries in the province, but more than 80 per cent of compensation costs. The WCB is working with customers and stakeholders to innovate the WCB’s claims and injury prevention strategies. The development of the Fatalities and Serious Injuries Strategy in 2019 was the first major step toward reducing injuries and improving disability management, and return to work in Saskatchewan. Find out more about the strategy at www.worksafesask.ca.

Employers can also play a significant role in keeping their premium rates down. Work-related injuries can be prevented by instituting a comprehensive workplace safety program. A solid disability management and return-to-work program will also help reduce costs and assist injured workers to recover and return to work safely and as soon as possible.

Employers can log into their secure WCB online account starting on Dec. 7, 2020 to view their 2021 industry premium rate, including their experience rating and certificate, if eligible. Employers who don’t have a secure WCB online account can sign up for one today at www.wcbsask.com.

 

 

 

Media contact:

Carolyn Van der Veen

Director, Communications, WCB

cvanderveen@wcbsask.com

 

 
 
 
 
 

WorkSafe Saskatchewan hosts virtual psychological health and safety learning event

Nov
26

 

 

 
 
 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOV. 26, 2020

 

WorkSafe Saskatchewan hosts virtual psychological

health and safety learning event

 

Regina, Sask., Nov. 26, 2020 – Mental health injuries continue to rise across the province and country. In response, WorkSafe Saskatchewan is hosting its third one-day psychological health and safety in the workplace learning event that was offered free to the public. Attendees include Saskatchewan employers, human resource professionals and mental health experts who are interested in psychological health and safety in the workplace.


As of Nov. 16, the WCB has accepted 206 mental health claims from Saskatchewan workers in 2020. While mental health claims only account for a small percentage of the workplace claims submitted in Saskatchewan, those numbers are on the rise. The number of mental health claims accepted by the WCB has increased by more than 213 per cent from 2015 to the end of 2019.


“We’re pleased to bring this event to participants once again, especially this year, as it has presented challenges to psychological health and safety in workplaces across the province,” said Kevin Mooney, vice-president of prevention and employer services at the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). “The response to this event and the increase of mental health WCB claims shows the need for these types of conversations and resources in workplaces throughout Saskatchewan.”


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to maintain physical distancing, WorkSafe will be hosting this year’s event virtually. The virtual event allows individuals who have not been able to participate in-person in the past to attend. Last year’s event hosted nearly 350 participants and this year over 800 attendees have registered for the event.

 

The morning sessions include Mary Ann Baynton, principal of Mary Ann Baynton & Associates, presenting on Stress, work and a pandemic and Janice Decelles, senior consultant at MNP, on Supporting successful return to work following a psychological injury. In the afternoon, Dr. Graham Lowe, president of Graham Lowe Group Inc., will present Planning healthy change in uncertain times.


Dr. Joti Samra will finish the day with a presentation on Enhancing individual and organizational change: Actionable steps to cultivate psychologically healthy and safe work environments. Dr. Samra is one of Canada’s foremost psychological health and wellness experts and the chief executive officer and founder of MyWorkplaceHealth. WorkSafe has formed a partnership with Dr. Samra and MyWorkplaceHealth for a long-term psychological health and safety strategy for the province. Part of this strategy includes the development of an online Psychological Health and Safety Resource Centre, to be officially launched on the WorkSafe website, worksafesask.ca, in 2021 and of which participants of the psychological learning event will get a sneak peek.


“We hope this event, as well as the resources provided through WorkSafe, help employers gain a better understanding of workplace psychological health and safety,” said Mooney. “The information shared here today and the mental health initiatives launched by not only WorkSafe, but by many of the workplaces attending today’s event, are key to tackling the rising number of mental health issues in workplaces.”

 

About WorkSafe Saskatchewan

 

WorkSafe Saskatchewan is an injury prevention and workplace safety partnership between the WCB and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety. Through the partnership, both agencies offer programs and support that help employers and workers develop workplace safety and health programs. You can reach WorkSafe Saskatchewan at 1.800.667.7590. Follow us on Twitter: @worksafesask, YouTube: youtube.com/worksafesask or on Facebook: facebook.com/WorkSafeSK for real-time updates.

 

-30-

 

For more information, please contact:
Jenna Boychuk
Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board
Phone: 306.787.1859
Email: jboychuk@wcbsask.com

 

 

Download the news release.

 
 

WorkSafe Saskatchewan offers tips for homeowners and contractors to avoid asbestos exposure.

Nov
19

 

 

 
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NOV. 19, 2020

 

Regina, Sask., Nov. 19, – WorkSafe Saskatchewan has released a number of tips for homeowners and contractors to stay safe and aware of the potential for asbestos in their home before starting construction and renovation projects. Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of work-related deaths in Saskatchewan. It is dangerous to construction workers and do-it-yourself (DIY) homeowners alike.

Asbestos has been banned in Canada since Dec. 30, 2018. However, asbestos-containing materials were common building products in homes built before 1990. Although asbestos-containing products are generally safe when left undisturbed, they become brittle over time and can crumble. The popularity of DIY projects has heightened the likelihood of asbestos exposure for homeowners.

Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause chronic, irreversible and life-threatening lung diseases. These diseases, which can appear several decades after exposure, include asbestosis (a lung scarring disease), lung cancer and mesothelioma. This year alone there has been 10 asbestos work-related deaths in Saskatchewan.

“Unfortunately, asbestos-related fatalities continue to dominate Saskatchewan statistics on work-related deaths,” says Kevin Mooney, vice-president of prevention and employer services at the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board. “It’s one of the invisible hazards every worker, homeowner and business owner needs to be aware of. It’s important they understand and know what is expected of them before any construction is started on an existing building.”

WorkSafe Saskatchewan’s asbestos awareness materials include safety tips for homeowners and contractors to keep in mind as they work on renovations during the fall and winter seasons. Topics include:

  • the danger of asbestos
  • when you should test for asbestos
  • where asbestos could be hiding in your home
  • hiring an asbestos abatement professional
  • checking the asbestos registry for Saskatchewan

For more information about asbestos, including a complete list of safety tips, visit worksafesask.ca/asbestos.

 

About WorkSafe Saskatchewan

WorkSafe Saskatchewan is an injury prevention and workplace safety partnership between the WCB and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety. Through the partnership, both agencies offer programs and support that help employers and workers develop workplace safety and health programs. You can reach WorkSafe Saskatchewan at 1.800.667.7590. Follow us on Twitter: worksafesask, YouTube: youtube.com/worksafesask or on Facebook: facebook.com/WorkSafeSK for real-time updates.

 

-30-

 

Contact:

Jenna Boychuk

Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board

Phone: 306.787.1859

Email: jboychuk@wcbsask.com

 

 

Download the news release.

 
 

Two employers pleaded guilty to charges in separate violations under The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996.

Nov
18

Released on November 16, 2020

Two employers pleaded guilty to charges in separate violations under The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996.

On November 3, 2020, 101063698 Saskatchewan Ltd., pleaded guilty in St. Walburg Provincial Court of two counts under the regulations.

The company was charged with the following:

For contravening subsection 465(2) of the regulations (being an employer or contractor, fail to ensure that no worker works, no material is piled, stored or handled, no scaffold is erected or dismantled and no equipment or powered mobile equipment is used or operated within the minimum distance from any exposed energized conductor as set out in column 1 of Table 22 of the Appendix of The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996, resulting in the serious injury of a worker).

For contravening subsection 17(1) of the regulations (being an employer or contractor, fail to ensure that all work at a place of employment is sufficiently and competently supervised, resulting in the serious injury of a worker).

The company was subsequently fined $8,571.43 with a $3,428.57 surcharge for each count, for a total of $24,000.

The charges stemmed from a worksite incident that occurred on August 13, 2018, in Turtle Lake, Saskatchewan.  A worker was injured while working on a platform attached to a forklift.

In an unrelated matter, on October 26, 2020, Rosengren Farms pleaded guilty in Estevan Provincial Court to one count under The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996.

The company pleaded guilty to contravening clause 12(c) of the regulations (being an employer, fail to provide any information, instruction, training and supervision that is necessary to protect the health and safety of workers at work, resulting in the serious injury of a worker).

The company was fined $8,500 with a $3,400 surcharge, totaling $11,900.

Charges resulted from a worksite incident that occurred on October 31, 2018, at Midale, Saskatchewan.  A worker was seriously injured while a pallet was being lifted.

To report an incident to the Occupational Health and Safety Division at the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, please call 1-800-567-SAFE (7233).

-30-

For more information, contact:

Kate Crowley
Labour Relations and Workplace Safety
Regina
Phone: 306-787-3370
Email: kate.crowley@gov.sk.ca

Correction Notice - November 9, 2020 E-News

Nov
9

The SCSA's recent e-newsletter emailed November 9, 2020 contains an error.

The linked interview in the section titled "SCSA President's Award" is with Alisdair Dickinson from Graham Construction.  Mr. Dickinson's name was spelled incorrectly in the original publication.

The Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) today announced The Regina Bypass Partners team is the recipient of the association’s Inaugural President’s Award

Nov
2

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 2, 2020

Regina Bypass Partners Awarded SCSA’s Inaugural President’s Award

 

REGINA – The Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) today announced The Regina Bypass Partners team is the recipient of the association’s Inaugural President’s Award for Outstanding Safety Leadership.

With more than five million hours of construction over four years on the newly constructed Regina Bypass and only one time-loss incident, SCSA President Colin Pullar says Regina Bypass Partners was the perfect fit for the new award. The project’s safety record, however, is not the main reason for recognizing the partners with the award, Pullar admits.

“Beyond the incredible safety record, it was the fact that that as a team, they learned how to become more innovative, how to plan exceptionally well, and how to build an effective team,” Pullar said. “They had thousands of people and hundreds of contractors that all had to work from the same song sheet. When that came together, they really started to see great performance, and safety was one of the most recognizable elements of that success. We really wanted to recognize the leadership team for this particular project because there were some fascinating results.”

The SCSA’s President’s Award is presented to an individual or company with exceptional involvement in the promotion and practice of construction safety and recognizes outstanding efforts and work that advances the betterment of safety practices province-wide. The winner also demonstrates excellent safety practices and outstanding leadership in construction. The SCSA’s President’s Award will not necessarily be presented annually, but rather under certain circumstances.

“The SCSA presents the President’s Award in unique circumstances to teams that have done something extraordinary – not so much the size of a project, but the complexity of it,” Pullar said. “Building bridges and roads doesn’t sound complex, but in this case, the complexity came from the size, the scope, the visibility of the project, the politics, and of course, the sheer number of partners, contractors, and workers. I think this was a great display of the types of things that others can aspire to.”

Pullar said there are also other parts of that project that make the Regina Bypass Partners deserving of the award: the team was able to get the project completed on budget and ahead of time. He also noted that Regina Bypass Project Director and Graham Construction Human Resources VP Allisdair Dickinson was a key driver in the project’s ultimate success.

“Allisdair was the person who really engaged and said I am championing this project.

He lead the meetings, he was the supervisor, and while he had a large budgets to look after, he always made people the centre of it acknowledging, if we don't get this right, the rest of it will fail,” Pullar noted. “He really understood that safety is an integration between really strong business and the importance of people. You cannot have one without the other.”

Government of Saskatchewan: Mining Company Fined $150,000 For Workplace Injury

Sep
28

Mining Company Fined $150,000 For Workplace Injury

Released on September 24, 2020

Saskatchewan company Nutrien Ltd. pleaded guilty to one count under The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 in Moosomin Provincial Court on September 17, 2020.

The company, operating as Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc., pleaded guilty to contravening clause 12(c) of the regulations (being an employer, fail to comply with the duties of an employer at a place of employment including the provision of any information, instruction, training and supervision that is necessary to protect the health and safety of workers at work, resulting in the serious injury of a worker).  One other charge was withdrawn.

The company was fined $107,142.85 plus a surcharge of $42,857.15.

Charges resulted from an incident that occurred on August 2, 2018, at the Nutrien Rocanville Mine Mill.  A worker experienced serious injuries while working on a solid bowl centrifuge (a machine used to separate substances that are mixed together).

Employers are required to provide safe and healthy workplaces, and must provide information, training and experience necessary for employees to perform their jobs safely.  For more information about workplace health and safety training and resources, visit www.worksafesask.ca or contact an industry safety association.

To report an incident to the Occupational Health and Safety Division at the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, please call 1-800-567-SAFE (7233).

-30-

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Toews
Labour Relations and Workplace Safety
Regina
Phone: 306-787-1331
Email: jennifer.toews3@gov.sk.ca

Saskatchewan Polytechnic School of Continuing Education Launch

Sep
11

                               
 
 
Saskatchewan Polytechnic School of Continuing Education Launch

Featuring Monica Kreuger (Chair, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors), Dr. Larry Rosia (President & CEO, Saskatchewan Polytechnic), Honourable Tina Beaudry-Mellor (Minister, Advanced Education), Collin Pullar (President, Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association) & Paul Carter (Dean, School of Continuing Education, Saskatchewan Polytechnic).

Please join us for an exciting new chapter for Saskatchewan Polytechnic as they launch the School of Continuing Education. The launch will take place virtually on Zoom; please register in advance here. The school will focus on meeting the needs of the local business community by providing training solutions tailored towards industries in which professional training is in high demand. The School of Continuing Education brings together internal expertise to advance professional development programs, corporate training and micro-credential offerings. Courses are market-driven and consistently updated to reflect emerging trends and best practices.

The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce has been a long-time advocate for enhanced continuing education offerings such as micro-credentials and professional training and is proud to support Saskatchewan Polytechnic in this exciting venture.

Agenda
 
1:30 p.m. - Welcome & Opening Comments 
1:50 p.m. - Q&A
1:55 p.m. - Thank-You & Closing Comments

Register early for the launch event to be eligible to win one of two free tuition certificates to any of the School of Continuing Education programs.
 
Date: September 16, 2020
Time: 1:30 – 2 p.m.
Click here to register
 
*Confirmation e-mail containing the Zoom link will be sent to all registered guests

Media Release: 2020 ABEX Awards Recipients Announcement

Sep
10

Media Release: 2020 ABEX Awards Recipients Announcement

September 10, 2020

Regina, SK – The ABEX Awards are Saskatchewan’s largest and longest-running business awards program, celebrating business excellence since 1984. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 ABEX Awards will be shifting from its traditional celebration of Saskatchewan business success to recognizing businesses and individuals who have become Saskatchewan’s everyday heroes.

This year’s awards will be taking place virtually on November 14, 2020 and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce is encouraging nominees, recipients and the public to host viewing parties in accordance with Saskatchewan Health Authority guidelines. In honour of the chamber’s 100th anniversary, the theme of this year’s awards is Roaring Twenties and viewers at home are encouraged to host 1920’s-themed viewing parties of their own.
 
Saskatchewan is navigating the challenges brought about by the global pandemic and economic slowdown by working together, supporting communities, and looking ahead with optimism. The Saskatchewan spirit of resilience is more evident than ever and the ABEX Awards will be celebrating the businesses and individuals who have exhibited this spirit of resilience.

In March 2020, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce encouraged the public to nominate businesses that supported the community, demonstrated resilience, or have been strategic and innovative in their approach to serving clients and engaging customers. Over the coming weeks leading up to November 14, nominees and their stories will be featured on the ABEX Awards social media channels and the recipients will be honoured during the virtual awards show.

Congratulations to this year’s ABEX Awards recipients. They went above and beyond when our community needed them most and I admire the perseverance and innovation displayed by these Saskatchewan businesses. The chamber is certainly proud of their accomplishments and they should be too,” said Steve McLellan, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce CEO.
 
2020 ABEX Awards Recipients

Community Leader of the Year – Chief Cadmus Delorme – Cowessess First Nation

The Community Leader of the Year Award honours and recognizes someone who has made a positive contribution to our community through volunteerism and philanthropy. This individual will have taken a lead role in developing solutions to social challenges in Saskatchewan.

Business Leader of the Year, sponsored by University of ReginaGreg Yuel, PIC Investment GroupSaskatoon

The Business Leader of the Year Award is awarded to an individual who exemplifies the qualities of a business visionary. This person has shown outstanding success in business or industry through the development of a new process, product or service, or for meaningful contributions to the local business community.

Saskatchewan Business Hall of Fame Inductee – Flaman Group of Companies – Saskatoon
The Saskatchewan Business Hall of Fame was established in 1990 to recognize businesses that have demonstrated excellence over an extended period of time, contributing to the economic well-being of the people and the province.

Roger Phillips Chamber Builder Award – Richard Ahenakew – Northern Lights Casino – Prince Albert

The Roger Phillips Chamber Builder Award is presented to a person with a long-standing history of committing time, intelligence and leadership to the chamber network in Saskatchewan. This award was created in honour of past Saskatchewan Chamber Board member and ABEX founder Roger Phillips, and its recipient is chosen by the current Saskatchewan Chamber Chair with input from Directors and other members of the chamber network.

Innovation Award, sponsored by Saskatchewan Polytechnic Deveraux Group of Companies – Regina

Marketing Award Pile O’ Bones Brewing Company – Regina

Export Award, sponsored by Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership VIDO-InterVac – Saskatoon

Community Involvement, sponsored by Grant Thornton LLP – Spiro’s Family Restaurant – Lloydminster

Priority Focus (Resilience) – Tangerine Group of Companies – Regina

Young Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Cameco The Everyday Kitchen – Regina

Growth and Expansion, sponsored by PFM Capital Inc. Dutch Growers – Regina

New Venture, sponsored by Saskatchewan Ministry of Trade and Export Development SANOZONE by Ground Effects Environmental Services – Regina

Service, sponsored by CN Indian Head Bakery – Indian Head

Awards of Merit

  • Harbour Landing Village – Regina
  • Melissa Carson – Weyburn
  • Fast Trucking - Carnduff


The 2020 ABEX Awards will be a celebration of the stories of everyday heroes in Saskatchewan communities and will take place virtually on November 14, 2020. All nominees, recipients and the public are invited to watch the awards online and celebrate Saskatchewan business! For more information, visit saskchamber.com or @ABEXawards on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
 

News Release from Sask WCB

Sep
10

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REGINA, SK, Sept. 10, 2020 – Many Saskatchewanians are staying close to home these days, which means construction projects, renovations and repairs are likely in full swing. WorkSafe Saskatchewan, the partnership between the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, is urging contractors and homeowners to take the proper steps to protect themselves and others against the risks of asbestos exposure.

“Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of work-related deaths in Saskatchewan” says Kevin Mooney, vice-president of prevention and employer services at the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board. “That’s why WorkSafe launched a new awareness campaign ‘Asbestos kills. It’s best to test.’ We believe this message is critical as some continue to think asbestos is an issue of the past. It’s important for people to know that asbestos exposure continues to happen and is preventable.”

Asbestos is common in homes and commercial buildings built before 1990. It is commonly known that asbestos is found in insulation like vermiculite, but it can also be found in materials like vinyl flooring, popcorn or stipple ceilings and walls, acoustic tiles and drywall joint compound. It doesn’t matter how much or how little asbestos is present – once the tiny fibres are airborne, they can cause life-threatening diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.

In 2019, almost 45 per cent of all work-related deaths in Saskatchewan were from asbestos exposure.

Testing for asbestos before commercial projects or home renovations begin is critical.

Wade Dieno, a 70-year old Chitek Lake resident knows all too well the dangers of asbestos exposure in the workplace. Diagnosed with stage three mesothelioma in Nov. 2019, doctors gave him 12-14 months to live. As a young man, Wade had pursued a career in the trades, starting in plumbing, and often worked around asbestos.

“I was like a lot of guys, especially in my younger days, and thought I was invincible. If I could go back in time, I’d wear every bit of PPE I could, especially when working around asbestos. Did I cut corners on safety to get my work done? Yes, I did. Do I wish I hadn’t? Yes, I do.”

Contractors and homeowners should never put themselves at risk by trying to remove asbestos themselves. If damaged asbestos-containing materials are not properly removed, they can endanger your life and the lives of others who come into contact with asbestos dust, fibres or raw asbestos materials.

When reflecting on his past, Wade knows the choices he made not to protect himself from the dangers of asbestos caught up to him eventually. “Oh sure, I was angry and bitter at first,” Wade says. “But really, what’s the point? In the end, it was me. I made the decisions [not to wear PPE] that cost me my future.”

“That’s why I’m telling my story now,” Wade said. “If I can prevent some young workers, even just one, from making the same mistakes I did, I suppose that would be a pretty good legacy to leave behind.”

“We want to remind and educate construction contractors and homeowners that asbestos remains a serious health threat,” says Mooney. “If you take the step to test for asbestos before starting any construction or renovation project, you can protect yourself and others from asbestos exposure.”

For more information including an asbestos abatement guide, free e-course and additional resources, please visit worksafesask.ca/asbestos.

Wade Dieno is available for interviews, health permitting, Sept. 10 between 1-4 p.m by phone.

Contact: Lisa Goudy

Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board

Phone: 306.787.6714

Email: lgoudy@wcbsask.com

 

Download the news release and backgrounder.

 

 

Backgrounder – Wade Dieno’s Story

 

Wade Dieno is available for interviews, health permitting. Please contact Lisa Goudy.

The dangers of asbestos exposure hit home for one Saskatchewan man

Asbestos kills. That is much more than a WorkSafe safety campaign slogan for Wade Dieno. The 70-year old Chitek Lake resident knows all too well about the dangers of asbestos exposure in the workplace, the leading cause of work-related deaths in the province. He was diagnosed with stage three mesothelioma (a cancer of the lungs and chest wall, most often caused by exposure to asbestos) in Nov. 2019, and was given 12-14 months to live. The news hit him like a bolt of lightning.

“Shock, anger, bitterness - I went through them all,” Wade says. “I had only retired two years before that, and had a great retirement planned with my wife Colleen, including spending six months a year at our retirement property in Mexico. It was devastating to realize I won’t be around for any of that.”

Wade’s story mirrors those of many young men in rural and small-town Saskatchewan in the 1960s. He left school after grade 10 to pursue a career in the trades, starting out as a labourer at a potash mine in 1968. He went on to acquire a journeyman qualification in plumbing, gas and pipe fitting. In 1982 he went to work at a uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan, and spent the next 35 years there – eventually acquiring a power engineer ticket.

“We were around asbestos all the time,” Wade recalls. “But, to be fair, the companies provided us with all the personal protective equipment (PPE) that we needed to stay safe. Did I always use it? No. Do I wish that I did? Absolutely.”

“I was like a lot of guys, and thought I was invincible. So, I cut corners on safety to get my work done. And now, that decision is costing me the ultimate price.”

Asbestos was used in many common building materials up until the late 1990s, and its impact is still felt today. When asbestos is disturbed, like during renovations, tiny fibres are released into the air and can cause severe – even fatal – lung diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. According to the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), in 2019, almost 45 per cent of all work-related deaths in Saskatchewan were from asbestos-related diseases.

Oh sure, I was angry and bitter at first,” Wade says. “But really, what’s the point? In the end, it was me. I made the decisions that are costing me my future.”

“That’s why I’m telling my story now,” Wade continues. “If I can prevent some young workers, even just one, from making the same mistakes I did, I suppose that would be a pretty good legacy to leave behind.”

Wade enthusiastically supports the “Asbestos kills. It’s best to test.” campaign recently launched by WorkSafe Saskatchewan. The campaign aims to raise awareness that asbestos exposure continues to be a problem and that it’s best to test if asbestos is suspected to be present.

“We want to remind and educate construction contractors and homeowners that asbestos remains a serious health issue,” says Kevin Mooney, vice-president of prevention and employer services at the Saskatchewan WCB. “If you take the time to test for asbestos before starting any construction or renovation project, you can protect yourself and others from asbestos exposure.”

For more information including an asbestos abatement guide, free e-course and additional resources, please visit worksafesask.ca/asbestos.

INSPECTION NOTICE 3M™ PROTECTA® Rebel Self-Retracting Lifelines (ANSI Versions)

Aug
31

3M™ PROTECTA® Rebel Self-Retracting Lifelines (ANSI Versions) 3M™ Fall Protection has identified a potential manufacturing issue with a limited number of 3M™ Protecta® Rebel Self-Retracting Lifelines (with galvanized or stainless-steel lifelines) produced between October 14, 2019 and February 25, 2020. There have been no reports of injuries or accidents associated with this issue. This manufacturing issue could result in the SRL not engaging properly but can be easily detected through the pre-use inspection as specified in the Protecta® Rebel Instruction for Use (IFU) document. Impacted Part Numbers can be found at www.ProtectaRebelInspect.com

Full bulletin

WCB shares financial results during AGM

Jun
24

WCB shares financial results during AGM

Sask. workplace injury rate drops from second highest in Canada to fourth among provinces

Regina, Sask., June 24, 2020 – At the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB)’s annual general meeting (AGM) teleconference today, the WCB shared its 2019 financial and operating results with Saskatchewan workers, employers and partners.

“In 2019, the WCB remained fully funded to support our customers, the workers and employers of Saskatchewan. At 115 per cent funded at 2019 year-end, we were able to cover costs of all claims in the system. This upheld the WCB’s commitment to workers and employers to operate an effective and efficient compensation system,” said the WCB’s Chairperson Gord Dobrowolsky. “Because of COVID-19 and the impact of the pandemic response on global, Canadian and Saskatchewan economies, a decrease in employer payroll in 2020 – combined with a decline in investment markets – has put pressure on the WCB’s strong financial position.”

The WCB’s 2019 funded position was within the targeted range of 105 to 120 per cent.

WCB CEO Phil Germain gave an overview of the WCB’s 2019 operational highlights. In 2019, 21,473 workers were injured in Saskatchewan workplaces and sadly, 36 individuals lost their lives in work-related incidents. Of those, 17 were from occupational disease, seven were from traumatic events, five were from heart attacks, four were from motor vehicle incidents and three were from medical complications.

“Every single one of these work-related deaths is a tragedy. The impact of each loss is felt by family members and communities,” said Germain. “It is so important for all of us to continue working to keep our workplaces safe.”

The 2019 Total injury rate decreased to 4.95 per 100 workers in 2019, while the Time Loss injury rate decreased to 1.86 per 100 workers in 2019. In 2019, for the fourth year in a row, 88 per cent of Saskatchewan employers had zero injuries and zero fatalities in their workplaces.

“Thanks to the health and safety efforts of workers, employers, safety associations and labour unions, our workplace injury rate has dropped from the second highest in Canada to fourth among Canadian provinces,” said Germain. “While this suggests we still have plenty of work to do, it also demonstrates that we are heading in the right direction.”

At the meeting, Germain spoke about the WCB’s upcoming challenges and opportunities for 2020 and beyond. The leading challenges include the new operating paradigm because of the COVID-19 pandemic, financial management and market volatility.

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected workers and businesses across the province and it is likely we will continue seeing the fallout for quite some time,” said Germain. “The pandemic response has also created opportunities for us to improve our customer service.”

The WCB has outlined key strategic objectives in its three-year strategic and operational plan. The WCB’s 2019 annual report and the strategic and operational plan are available online.

-30-

 

 

SCSA To Host Asbestos Awareness Panel for the Construction Industry

May
21

Many homes and buildings in Saskatchewan were built before 1990, so they might contain asbestos. This means contractors and homeowners planning renovations could be putting themselves at risk of asbestos exposure, if they don’t take the proper steps before starting a construction project.

When asbestos is disturbed during renovations, tiny asbestos fibres are released into the air and inhaled. Asbestos fibres can get trapped into the lungs and cause serious health problems in the future, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Asbestos-related lung diseases are the cause of many workplace fatalities in the province of Saskatchewan. In particular, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related lung diseases were responsible for approximately 26 per cent of the 390 fatalities accepted by the Saskatchewan WCB in the last decade (2010-2019). In 2019, 47 per cent of workplace fatalities were a result of occupational diseases.  Many of these deaths occurred in the construction industry and can be prevented.

To address the need for improved information and awareness, the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) is hosting an online Asbestos Awareness Panel on June 2, 2020 at 09:00 on Zoom (https://zoom.us/j/98153798690).  Joining the panel will be Dr. Paul Demers from the Occupational Cancer Research Centre and David Kanciruk from Associated Asbestos Abatement a Division of Place-Crete Systems LLP,  a COR™ certified company and SCSA member as well as representatives from the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety.

To pre-submit a question, please contact comm@scsaonline.ca with questions to be addressed on the live webinar.

Paul Demers is the Director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre.. He a Professor (status) with the Institute for Medical Sciences and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Paul Demers has a Ph.D. in epidemiology and a M.Sc. in Industrial Hygiene, both from the University of Washington. His research has focused on occupational and environmental cancer, lung disease, and heart disease. In addition, he has an interest in both occupational carcinogen and cancer surveillance. He has been a member of many national and international expert panels dealing with occupational and environmental cancer for organizations such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the U.S. National Toxicology Program, the U.S. Institute of Medicine, the Royal Society of Canada, and the Council of Canadian Academies.

SCSA Moves Training Records For Students Online

May
19

Release Date:  19-May-2020

SCSA Moves Training Records For Students Online

For Immediate Release

Studies by McKinsey and Company show that the construction industry would realize productivity benefits from increased digitization and improved access to business intelligence. To address the need for better information and a desire to execute tasks on-site, the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association is launching a service to make its training database available to students and employers through an online tool.

"Saskatchewan is a big province,” said Collin Pullar, President of the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association.  "We know it is not always convenient for our members and students to visit SCSA offices when an employer or regulatory body asks for training records," he continued.  "Most people already carry a smartphone in their pockets or nearby in a vehicle or locker.  Starting today, this tool will allow managers and supervisors to execute a check of training records while on the jobsite." 

By visiting my.scsaonline.ca SCSA students can log on and view their training history and provide it to others.  This tool makes over 140,000 training records readily available to students and employers with a smartphone, tablet, or computer and an internet connection.

"In the past, paper copies of training records were provided to students.  These paper records get lost or damaged easily.  We know that about 40% of the people who read our electronic newsletter use a smartphone," said Pullar, "Let's leverage this tool to improve safety and productivity on the job site."

This new user experience allows an SCSA student to log on, get the information they need, and get back to work.  Effectively, using the online training history provides more information with fewer steps.  This service improvement helps keeps the construction industry building instead of searching for records.

The SCSA is making a number of moves to improve access to business intelligence on the job site over the life of the Association’s current strategic plan.  "This is the first of many announcements about new online tools," said Collin Pullar.

The Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) is an industry-funded, membership-based, non-profit organization that provides cost-effective, accessible safety training and advice to employers and employees in the construction industry throughout the province to reduce the human and financial losses associated with injuries. Registered March 22, 1995 the SCSA is, and has been since inception, committed to injury prevention. Serving almost 10,000 member companies, the vision of the SCSA is to create the Safest Construction Environment in Canada through its mission of Constructing Safety Leadership.

For Techncial Support or questions:

epassport@scsaonline.ca

 

 

 

Communciations Contact:

Ed Pyle, Manager of Corporate Development

edp@scsaonline.ca

306-519-2193

 

 

# # #

YXE NAOSH & MENTAL HEALTH WEEK VIRTUAL CELEBRATION.

May
6

This week is North American Occupational Safety and Health Week. This week also stands as Canadian Mental Health Week. As many across our country and the continent celebrate these events, the Saskatoon Regional Safety Committee has organized a special event for us to celebrate at home on Thursday, May 7 from 12pm -1:30pm.

Blending the two ideas together as the YXE NAOSH & MENTAL HEALTH WEEK VIRTUAL CELEBRATION. The event will feature representation from the Saskatoon branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Provincial and City Government, the SCSA and Worksafe Saskatchewan.

You can register for the event (Zoom meeting) or attend on Facebook Live, via the SCSA facebook page.

Details and Registration is on our website:

Or join on facebook

Webinar: The effectiveness of OHS management systems: Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts?

May
6

The effectiveness of OHS management systems: Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts?

Lessons from an investigation of the BC Construction Safety Alliance COR™ audit

Webinar | May 19, 2020 | 11 am – 12:30 pm PDT

Presented by Chris McLeod, Co-Director, Partnership for Work, Health and Safety

View this announcement online: http://pwhs.ubc.ca/

Occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) audits, such as the Certificate of Recognition (COR™) audit, are used worldwide to assess employers’ OHS performance. In BC and Alberta, COR™ certification is associated with lower injury rates. In the BC construction sector, the BC Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA) is the certifying partner that oversees the design and implementation of the COR audit. The Partnership for Work, Health and Safety examined the performance of the BCCSA COR™ audit tool to identify how the audit performed overall, where and under what circumstances better scores were associated with lower injury rates, and whether better performance on specific aspects of the audit were more predictive of lower injury rates. The BC findings will be considered in the national and international context, identifying characteristics of audit certification that will lead to improved health and safety performance.

Who should attend?

  • Managers and directors of OHSMS certification programs
  • Auditors
  • Safety officers
  • Anyone involved in the administration and implementation of COR™

Presenter

Dr. Christopher McLeod is an associate professor and co-director of the Partnership for Work, Health and Safety at the UBC School of Population and Public Health and a scientist at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto. He has led evaluations of COR™ programs in BC and Alberta and he is currently evaluating the COR™ program in Saskatchewan. His research focuses on the program and policy evaluation of occupational health policies and practices and on the causes and consequences of work-related injury and disease.

Webinar details

Please join from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/894063669

You can also dial in using your phone.

Canada: +1 (647) 497-9373

Access Code: 894-063-669

More phone numbers

United States: +1 (646) 749-3117

Australia: +61 2 9091 7603

New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:

https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/894063669

Upcoming Webinar: Residential Fall Protection

May
5

When: May 12, 2020 9:00 AM Saskatchewan 

Where: https://zoom.us/j/98153798690

What: Residential Fall Protection. This webinar is hosted by the SCSA, the Regina and Region Home Builders' Association, Saskatoon & Region Home Builders' Association for Certified Professional Home Builders (CPHB).

Why it is Important: Falls cause a large number of injuries in the construction industry.  About half those injuries were time loss injuries with a total  injury cost  into the tens of millions of dollars. This increases the cost of every project and those costs are eventually passed on to home buyers.

Many of these residential construction injuries are preventable.  Workers should always be outfitted with safety gear appropriate for the job they are doing.  Equipment should be inspected daily, and any worn or damaged equipment should be replaced.  

This webinar will talk about fall protection in the residential construction sector and share specific strategies and tactics for reducing injuries from falls.

SCSA Advisors and panelists will provide time for a question and answer session.

 

 

Congrats to Northern Mat and Bridge on 2020 Safe Employer Award

May
4

Today Worksafe Saskatchewan announced that Northern Mat and Bridge Limited Partnership was named the Safe Employer of the Year. Congratulations to Northern Mat and Bridge Limited Partnership, an SCSA COR-registered company.

According to the WCB, Northern Mat & Bridge Limited Partnership (NMB) was chosen as this year’s safe employer because they believe and practice active participation, training and education, for the elimination of workplace injuries.  “We are pleased to see the steps workers and employers are taking to keep workers safe on the job,” said Annette Goski, WCB Director of Prevention. “Congratulations to the winners and the finalists. Together, we can continue bringing our province’s workplace injury rates down.”

“The Safe Worker and Safe Employer Awards are one way that we encourage workers and employers to create safe workplaces in our province. Implementing effective health and safety management systems and practices saves lives.” said Goski.

COR provides companies witih verification of a fully implemented safety & health program which meets national standards. The objectives of COR are to provide industry employers with an effective safety and health management system to reduce incidents, accidents and injuries as well as their associated human and financial costs. COR is now frequently used as a pre-qualifying and/or condition of contract by public and private project owners across Canada.  For more information on COR, click here.

COR is nationally trademarked and endorsed by participating members of the Canadian Federation of Construction Safety Associations (CFCSA). The SCSA has jurisdiction in Saskatchewan to grant and verifiy that the utmost diligencein safety practices and COR standards are upheld.

To read the full WCB news release, click here.

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), May 4th -10th.

May
4

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Mental Health Week is taking place this week, May 4th -10th.  Every May, people in Canadian communities, schools, workplaces and legislatures rally around CMHA Mental Health Week. First marked by CMHA in 1951, 2020 marks the 69th annual Mental Health Week. Mental Health Week helps to shift societal beliefs and perceptions about mental health. It helps promote behaviors and attitudes that foster well-being, support good mental health and create a culture of understanding and acceptance.

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Week is social connection. Connecting with other people and our communities doesn’t just feel good. It’s good for our mental health.

  • Research shows that social connection and social support are factors that protect and promote good mental health.
  • Feeling socially connected means you feel close and connected to others, and you don’t have to be in physical proximity to nurture a sense of closeness and connection.
  • Social isolation and loneliness are bad for everyone’s mental health.

So today, this week and the days following, let’s #GetReal with #MentalHealthWeek.

Keep an eye out this week for more info and resources, but in the meantime you can read more about this nationally recognized social movement in the Mental Health Week Fact Sheet

SCSA Update on Programs, Training and Advisory Services

Apr
29

As situation with the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the SCSA has been adjusting services and re-opening some services that have been withhdawn.  If members require additional assistance or have questions about services please contact scsainfo@scsaonline.ca.

Program Services Available:

  • Manual Reviews:  The SCSA is accepting electronic Health & Safety manuals for review at this time.  Manuals should be sent to:  scsaprograminfo@scsaonline.ca
  • Maintenance audits for auditor certification:  The SCSA is accepting scanned and emailed maintenance audits.  Audits should be sent to: scsaprograminfo@scsaonline.ca
  • COR and SECOR Internal audits:  The SCSA is accepting scanned and emailed maintenance audits.  Audits should be sent to: scsaprograminfo@scsaonline.ca
  • Self audits for safety auditor certification:  The SCSA is accepting scanned and emailed maintenance audits.  Audits should be sent to: scsaprograminfo@scsaonline.ca
  • COR and SECOR Registrations:  Companies wishing to register for these programs should visit the COR and SECOR pages to complete the online submission form.
  • HSA & NCSO Registrations:  Individuals wishing to register for these programs should visit the HSA & NCSO pages on our website and complete the online submission form.

Training Available:

  • To view and register for online courses, visit this page
  • A number of Instructor-Led online training courses are being offered.  For details please visit this link.

Advisory Services Available:

  • Developing resources to help companies deal with the COVID19 pandemic.
  • Assisting companies, individuals and organizations that have been contacting the Association through phone and email, regarding questions and concerns that they have about the current pandemic.  Promoting and sharing \ website resources.
  • Contacting member companies to promote services, while offering assistance with Health and Safety programs. 
  • Manual development and manual revisions with companies through Microsoft Teams.
  • Assisting registered companies through their COR and SECOR process by answering questions, providing and reviewing policies, forms, manuals etc.
  • With assistance from other areas of The Association leading online Ask the SCSA webinars

COVID 19 Safety Protocols for Saskatchewan

Apr
16

The SCSA along with Canadian Federation of Construction Safety Associations, WorkSafe Saskatchewan, Merit Contractors Association Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Construction Association and Regina & Region Home Builders' Association have published COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Saskatchewan.

The creation of this document acknowledges that Saskatchewan construction firms have already made a number of changes to operations to keep their workers and the public safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This document captures some of the excellent practices that have been put in place by construction and will allow for greater consistency of information and team work in the industry. 

Download the protocol at this link and visit the SCSA COVID-19 resources page for more information.

SCSA - OHC Level One Online Instructor-Led Training Now Taking Registrations

Apr
13

In response to industry requests and to make this training available during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the Association is offering online instructor-led training in Occupational Health Commitee Level One on April 16, 2020.

Date – Thursday April 16

Start – 9:00 a.m.

Finish- 2:30 p.m.

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH COMMITTEE (OHC) TRAINING LEVEL 1

This one-day course is designed for managers, supervisors and workers that are going to be part of an Occupational Health and Safety Committee or assume the role of a Health and Safety Representative.

This course meets the requirements of section 46 of the Saskatchewan OHS Regulation for training of representatives and committee members.

Course Focus:

  • Locate legislation regarding occupational health and safety issues in your workplace
  • How the committee functions
  • Requirements for establishing and operating an effective OHC
  • Duties and roles of the OHC
  • Identifying and assessing workplace hazards
  • Corrective actions
  • Refusal to work investigations

To enroll, register at this linkhttp://www.scsaonline.ca/classroom-course-registration

Media Release: Provincial Chamber Welcomes ‘New Tools for the Recovery Toolkit’

Apr
9



For Immediate Release

April 09, 2020

Regina, SK: The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC) applauds the Government of Saskatchewan’s announcement of a new support program that will assist businesses with their fixed cost obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“We have been working with our members non-stop over the past month to better understand the unique challenges businesses are facing, and we continue to advocate for programs to support Saskatchewan businesses during this time of tremendous economic hardship. We welcome the news from the Province and see it as a much-needed new tool for businesses to sustain their operations until things get back to normal,” said Steve McLellan, CEO of the SCC.

The SCC has been speaking to government about the acute challenges for businesses and has made several recommendations. One of these recommendations was changes to lay-off provisions under the Saskatchewan Employment Act, which was announced on March 20. These recommendations will assist in managing the overhead costs that many businesses have. This program is also important to many small businesses whose ability to take on additional debt during a time of greatly reduced revenues is severely constrained.  

“We thank Minister Harrison and Premier Moe for their ongoing commitment to Saskatchewan businesses,” added McLellan.

Find information on government programs and announcements on our website at www.saskchamber.com. Please check back often for updates.
 
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce serves as the voice of business and represents the interests of over 10,000 individual businesses, industry associations, and local chambers across the province through its chamber network. Information on COVID-19 and all other business issues can be found on www.saskchamber.com. 
 

-30-

Contact:
Steve McLellan, CEO
C- 306-533-7686
E- smclellan@saskchamber.com

Update from from ISNetworld regarding Saskatchewan COR/SECOR

Apr
2

With COVID-19 impacting the certification capabilities for ISNetworld customers, ISNetwork is granting extensions from March 31st to June 30th for Saskatchewan COR/SECOR/LOI holders until operations have resumed as normal.

SCSA Members are Invited to an Ask the Advisor Webinar

Apr
1

The Ask an Advisor webinar  will give SCSA members the chance to talk to SCSA Advisory Services and Programs Services about questions on safety or SCSA programs.  

On April 2, 2020 at 9:00 - 10:00 AM

This webinar will also be streamed to Facebook Live.  A recording will be posted to SCSA Social Media after the event for those who cannot attend.

Please click the link below to join the webinar: 
https://zoom.us/j/554093421

Or iPhone one-tap :
    Canada: +17789072071,,554093421#  or +14388097799,,554093421# 
Or Telephone:
    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
        Canada: +1 778 907 2071  or +1 438 809 7799  or +1 587 328 1099  or +1 647 374 4685  or +1 647 558 0588 
    Webinar ID: 554 093 421
    International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/aepe0qkZuA
 

Hand Sanitizer Available for Members

Mar
30

Merit Contractors Association of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association have learned of the recent shortage of hand sanitizer and cleaning products  members are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to keep work sites and offices clean and safe during this time to ensure that essential construction can continue,  this partnership has located supplies of hand santizer for member companies.

Most distilleries in the province have shifted production to provide cleaning and sanitation resources to first responders and medical personal in the province and our Associations support this work. At the same time, a few suppliers are making their products available to the construction industry:

 

1.Smooth 42 Distillery: Smooth 42 is producing hand sanitizer that they can ship in various sizes and quantities. Please submit orders through email to a orders@smooth42.ca   In an order, please include an email address, contact information, physical address and  quantity of product .   Smooth 42 Distiller is currently accepting credit card and electronic funds transfers.

 

2. EECOL Electric: EECOL has bulk supply and is willing to sell in smaller amounts to members.  EECOL prefers that the member has an account, as they are limiting face-to-face transactions at this time. Each cash transaction would need to be considered at the time. Please contact Rob McNeil for more information:

Rob McNeil
2906 Millar Ave Saskatoon,
Call: (306) 933-3131
Email: mcneilrl@eecol.com

 

3. MCK Equipement: MCk has regular sales but always keeps spare products around just in case. Please contact them to purchase and check on availability as supplies come in. 

Assaad Dagher
#4 3603 Millar Ave Saskatoon
Call: 1 -833-978-8833
Email: sales@mckequipment.ca 

 

4. Levitt Safety: Levitt Safety is coordinating a mass national order which will use our joint buying power to reduce shipping costs and take advantage of bulk order discounts. They have created Emergency Supply Sourcing to display products we are sourcing and the lead times. To take advantage of this large national order, we are asking for all orders to be submitted by 5pm local time on Thursday, April 2.

Anyone who wishes to place an order can call 1-888-453-8488 or submit a web inquiry through the form on the Emergency Supply Sourcing page.

 

5. Black Fox Farm and Distillery: Black Fox Farm and Distillery now has sanitizer available. 200ml pouches, $3.50 each, and bulk format coming.

Meghan Mulder
245 Valley Road, Comp117 Site 319 RR#3, Saskatoon
Call: 306 955 4645
Email: hello@blackfoxfarmanddistillery.com

 

6.Outlaw Trail Spirits: Outlaw Trail Spirits current batch of hand sanitizer is dedicated to the Emergency Services and shelters in our community and will soon have 1 L and 18.9 L refill sizes of liquid sanitizer available on a first-come-first-serve basis for purchase.

Charmaine Styles
1360 Scarth St. Regina, SK
Call: 306 527 6533
Email: cstyles@outlawtrailspirits.com 

 

 

Sask. WCB offers relief measures for employers

Mar
30

 

     

 
 
 

 

 

 

Sask. WCB offers relief measures for employers 

 

Premium penalties waived for employers effective April 1 until June 30, 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis

 

Regina, Sask., March 30, 2020 – The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is introducing additional relief measures for employers who are unable to pay their WCB premium payments. Effective April 1 until June 30, 2020, the WCB will waive penalties and interest charges for late premium payments.

 

The Government of Saskatchewan announced various measures to support provincial business owners during the COVID-19 crisis. To provide further relief for Saskatchewan employers, the WCB is:

  • Forgiving interest and penalties for late payments on 2020 premiums applied in the month of March.
  • Prioritizing employer payroll revisions to help employers reduce their premiums.
  • Suspending payroll audits until further notice except in situations where an employer may be eligible for a refund.

“We are dealing with extraordinary circumstances throughout the province of Saskatchewan. Recognizing the economic challenges many employers are facing, we are introducing these relief measures for covered employers while balancing our financial obligations,” said the WCB’s CEO Phil Germain. “By giving employers extra time to submit their payments without facing any penalties, they will be able to communicate their revised payroll estimates to the WCB and determine payment plan options.”

 

Employers who have reduced their workforce are encouraged to submit revisions to their 2020 assessable payroll estimates, which the WCB will use to recalculate their required premiums. Employers who have concerns about paying their 2020 premiums should contact the WCB to discuss their options.

 

Effective immediately, to ensure employers can release payment to their contractors promptly during the COVID-19 crisis, clearance letters will be available for employers that meet specific criteria, even in cases where the contractor’s WCB account has not been paid. Employers will not be liable for any outstanding WCB premiums the contractor owes.

 

Under the WCB’s legislation, The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013, the WCB is required to be fully funded at all times.  

 

The WCB will continue to monitor this situation and make decisions that balance the needs of employers and injured workers. 

 

- 30 -

 

Media contact:
Carolyn Van der Veen

Director, Communications

306.787.4386 or cvanderveen@wcbsask.com

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Upcoming Webinar: Worksite safety & COVID 19 for Residential Construction 

Mar
30

When: Apr 1, 2020 11:00 AM Saskatchewan 
Topic: Virtual Town Hall - Worksite safety & COVID 19 for Residential Construction 

This webinar will aid member firms in ensuring worksites are safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This webinar is hosted by the SCSA, the Regina and Region Home Builders' Association and Saskatoon and Region Home Builders' Association.

Industry must recognize that these truly are unprecedented times and the residential construction industry needs has a part in supporting the health and safety of the greater community. This webinar will provide safety information about the COVID-19 and assist construction firms with making safe decisions.

Register in advance for this webinar:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_fCukThg3RFey2InzZHksBw 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Virtual Safety Meeting March 31, 2020

Mar
30

 

 

 

 

 

You are invited to an important virtual safety meeting
March 31, 2020

 

Presented by SCA, Merit Contractors Association,

 Home Builder Associations, SCSA

and WorkSafe

 


               

Keeping your workplace and worksites safe during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

Construction has been identified as one of the allowable industries that can continue working during the COVID-19 pandemic. As you continue to work on your job sites, we want to ensure you have the knowledge and a solid understanding of what is required to work safely. A collaborative group from your industry is coming together on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 to share best practices to follow as we work through the pandemic. Please join us for this important information session on:

 

Tuesday, March 31, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

 

Use this link to join the meeting on this date and time: https://zoom.us/j/923088315

 

This meeting will be led by safety experts from the non-residential construction sector in Saskatchewan and will focus on advice to support non-residential construction sites.

 

For those who work primarily in the residential construction sector, a second town hall meeting will be held. Details to follow once those arrangements have been finalized.

 

 

 

                      
               

 

Residential Construction Considered an Allowable Business by Saskatchewan Government

Mar
26

The Saskatchewan Government announced the ‘Allowable Business to be Open’ list through the COVID-19 pandemic. This list included residential construction.

While the list of Allowable Business will be reviewed daily by the Provincial Government and can expand or contract  as the situation evolves, it is now upon the industry to ensure worksites maintain effective safety practices, and that the 2 meter physical distancing is effectively occurring.

The Regina and Region Home Builders' Association along with the Saskatoon and Region Home Builders' Association have developed a COVID 19 Safety Protocol to assist companies with staying open during the COVID-19 pandemic.  These resources can be located at reginahomebuilders.com and links have been placed on the SCSA's Coronavirus resource page

2020 Final Annual Report Now Available

Mar
25

Construction Specific COVID-19 Coronavirus Resources Now Available

Mar
23

The SCSA has posted a number of construction specific resources to the COVID-19 Coronavirus page

The following resources are now available:

  • Construction Site COVID Prevention
  • COVID-19 Advanced Cleaning
  • Exposure Control Plan for COVID-19
  • Employer Protocol for Pandemic
  • Safety Notice for Workers
  • Health Questionnaire COVID-19
  • Site Posters COVID-19
  • Contact Sanitation Checklist

The SCSA COVID-19 Coronavirus page is being updated constantly. 

A Call to the Construction Industry for N95 Masks

Mar
23

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has expressed a desire to plan ahead for Saskatchewan’s battle with COVID-19.  To improve the available supply of “N95” masks to assist with the treatment of COVID-19 patients, construction companies are being asked to help augment the supply of these masks.  The SCSA knows how important it is for members to support front line healthcare workers.

If your organization has a supply of "N95" masks that could be made available to health care workers, please drop off donations at the RRHBA Administration Office 1801 MacKay Street, Regina, Saskatchewan from Monday to Friday 9:00am - 12:00pm.  The RRHABA offices are closed to the public but donations of masks can be placed in the foyer area (between the front door and the door to the Office).  The SCSA will provide donation drop-off locations in other communities when they become available.

As industry knows, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a last line of defense.  The SCSA is offering a number of resources about COVID-19 prevention such as hand hygiene, cleaning practices, and identifying workers who are ill.  SCSA Safety Advisors (Regina, Saskatoon) are also available by phone and email to provide advice, guidance to our members who need assistance with toolbox talks, safe job procedures and emergency planning.

EAP or SAP to ensure safety?

Mar
23

EAP (Employee Assistance Programs) have traditionally been seen as the “go-to”, “one-stop” resource when it comes to workplace health. However; when it comes to workplace safety, and reducing risks of unproductivity, injury, fatality, and liability, there is a growing recognition that (SAP) Substance Abuse Professional processes may provide greater value. While EAP and SAP may share some roots, there are some very big differences that employers may wish to clearly understand.

Opportunities to prevent unnecessary injury and fatality occur regularly on worksites; yet how employers capitalize on these opportunities varies. When an employee presents to work not fit for duty due to substance use or impairment, self-discloses struggles with alcohol or drugs, or fails an alcohol or drug test (pre-employment, pre-access, post-incident or near miss, random, follow-up/unannounced, or reasonable suspicion), utilizing a SAP instead of, or in addition to EAP can provide a framework for both employer and employee for next steps without compromising safety.

EAP has long been and will continue to be a great employee service that is accessed voluntarily and confidentially for employees to get professional help for a wide-range of stressors. Unlike EAP professionals, SAPs are specifically trained to protect workplace safety by assessing employees, determining whether they meet criteria for a SUD (Substance Use Disorder) or not, and making recommendations concerning specific and most appropriate substance misuse education, treatments, aftercare, and follow-up testing. This framework helps to ensure employees get the right type and intensity of intervention, and allows employers to illustrate due process which can close otherwise open gaps for potential liability, litigation and grievances. Due to the voluntary and “client-centered” nature of EAP, matters of confidentiality often keep employers in the dark regarding an employee’s progress as the employee controls the flow of information. This is especially evident as some professional disciplines are bound by ethical dictates that limit the amount of information shared even in mandatory referral situations. This can lead to uncertainty in several areas and employers often have no assurance that an employee is getting substance misuse specific help, nor assurance that an employee is any safer to return to work. Alternatively, SAPs are “safety-centered”; processes and compliance are mandatory. This helps to increase employee motivation for participation and gives the employer certain assurance in regards to safety and confidence to take next steps. With SAP process, should employees not comply or fail to complete recommendations, an employer has more legal options available for discipline up to termination.

The WCB (Workers Compensation Board of Saskatchewan), states that the average number of workplace fatalities each year in Saskatchewan over the last 15 years is 37, and the average number of “serious injuries” each year over that period is 2400. While there are certainly many potential factors involved in causation, a portion will be directly or indirectly related to substance misuse. According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, roughly 12% of Canadians have a SUD (Substance Use Disorder), yet less than 1% ever access help. This may be due to the continued stigma around substance misuse and psychological health disorders and/or insufficient employer processes in managing these situations. A much larger percentage of the working population without a SUD may also report to work unfit for duty, which can be commonly overlooked, neglected, or mismanaged. For true prevention, it is vital that these situations be identified and effectively addressed earlier to prevent future unproductivity, injury and long-term costs.

Many employers may still be operating without sufficient alcohol and drug policies and processes to manage these situations. Employers that do have a policy may still be overly reliant on traditional practices and resources, or terminate employees without due process risking litigation and grievances. In an ever-changing and evolving world of safety and labour law, and with what is at stake, utilizing SAP processes can be very advantageous. After all, every employee deserves to go home safe and sound. This means employers must have the ability to help employees with physical, psychological, or substance related struggles without compromising safety.

 

Scott Heil, ICADC, CCAC, SAP/SAE
Qualified Substance Abuse Professional (U.S. DOT)
For more information please contact:
Scott@2bsure.ca (306) 260-4551

 

COVID-19 Update March 19, 2020

Mar
19
  • Access to SCSA offices in Regina and Saskatoon is closed and most SCSA staff are working from home.  SCSA staff are available by phone, email and electronic meeting to answer your questions and provide services.  See the following links for a staff directory of our Regina and Saskatoon offices.  General inquires can be submitted to scsainfo@scsaonline.ca
  • COR and SECOR Audits are being rescheduled.   Firms with a COR/SECOR status of "audit pending" are considered to be in good standing.  For inquiries please contact Program Services scsaprograminfo@scsaonline.ca
  • The SCSA web site will provide toolbox talks, safe job procedures and business information for member firms. A COVID-19 resource page is available at this link and will be updated on an ongoing basis
  • SCOT training can be accessed at any time.  SCSA online and classroom training is not available for the next two weeks
  • External meetings are being moved online. To reach SCSA staff please consult staff directories for Regina and Saskatoon or contact scsainfo@scsaonline.ca
  • The SCSA leadership team supports the work of the COVID-19 Task Force 
  • The SCSA mobile app is available on Google Play and the App Store

Safety is top-of-mind in everything the SCSA does, and the Association will continue to monitor developments from public health agencies to ensure the health and safety of members, employees, and the public

2020 SCSA Board of Directors Welcomes John Desjarlais

Mar
19

John brings a wealth of industry knowledge and governance experience to the SCSA Board of Directors.  Welcome John!

COVID-19 Coronavirus Resources

Mar
18

On this page is advice and links on:

  • Self-Assesments
  • When Workers Should Not Work
  • Tips for Protection
  • At the Office Tips
  • Best Practices for Business Owners
  • Additional Best Practices
  • Business Continuity Planning
  • Mental Health and Fitness
  • Policies

Regional Safety Committee Meetings Cancelled

Mar
17

Given the current environment and rapidly evolving circumstances relating to COVID-19, The SCSA Board of Directors has decided to cancel all upcoming Regional Safety Committee meetings. These meetings will resume at a later date.


The Board of Directors and SCSA staff are focused on ensuring that our membership, industry and communities can get through this crisis together. The SCSA has implemented operational measures to limit the spread of COVID – 19 such as suspended all staff travel, Advisors are available for online and telephone meetings as well as each office will be restricting access to the public. SCSA online training and SCOT will not be affected and can be accessed at any time.


As the situation surrounding COVID-19 rapidly changes, we will continue to evolve our response to it. Please visit www.scsaonline.ca for updates.

March 16, 2019 COVID 19 Update

Mar
16

Like all organizations in this rapidly evolving environment, the SCSA is planning, adapting, and implementing measures daily.  At this time, the SCSA will not be closing operations and is taking the following measures to limit the spread of COVID-19:

  • Access to SCSA offices in Regina and Saskatoon is restricted.  Visitors at a higher risk of COVID 19 are asked to access services by phone or online
  • COR and SECOR Audits are being rescheduled.  For inquiries please contact Program Services scsaprograminfo@scsaonline.ca
  • SCSA classrooms are being cancelled for the next two weeks.  SCSA online training and SCOT training is not affected and can be accessed at any time.
  • Online remote-proctored NCSO exams are administered by Saskatchewan Polytech and are currently being offered.  As the situation evolves, please contact Sask Polytech for up-to-date information
  • Staff travel has been suspended.  SCSA staff are available for online and telephone meetings (Regina, Saskatoon).
  • External meetings are being cancelled or moved online.  The SCSA Annual General Meeting has been moved online and the SCSA Constructing Safety Leadership conference is cancelled

Safety is top-of-mind in everything the SCSA does, and the Association will continue to monitor developments from public health agencies to ensure the health and safety of members, employees, and the public.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Mar
12

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

At the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association, safety is top-of-mind in everything that the
organization does.

Currently, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-
19 as low for the general population. Information from public health officials is available here. Further, please
be advised that:

  • the SCSA does not charge a fee for changing or cancelling classes
  • SCSA classrooms are disinfected daily
  • the Association provides well-stocked hand-washing facilities and hand sanitizer in its offices

Preventative Tips

  • Practice proper cough and sneezing etiquette (into the bend of your elbow)
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water; if soap and water are not available, use an alcoholbased
  • hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Maintain safe food practices
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

Resources
SCSA Tool Box Talk on Pandemic Preparedness
CCOHS - Flu and Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Saskatchewan’s workplace Total injury rate decreases in 2019

Mar
11

Saskatchewan’s Workplace Total injury rate decreases in 2019

Regina, Sask., March 11, 2020 – The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) released its injury statistics today announcing that the 2019 workplace injury rates have decreased. The workplace Total injury rate for 2019 was 4.95 per 100 workers, a nine per cent decrease from 2018. Since 2008, the workplace Total injury rate has dropped by 51.5 per cent.

“Last year, fewer people and their families were affected because someone was hurt at work. Employers, workers, safety leaders and labour unions all around the province have worked diligently to bring down our injury rates,” said WCB chairperson Gord Dobrowolsky. “For the fourth year in a row, 88 per cent of Saskatchewan workplaces had zero injuries and zero fatalities. Our workplace injury rate has dropped from being the second highest in the country to being the fourth highest among Canadian provinces. What this suggests is that we’ve made improvements, but we all have more work to do.”

In 2019, the Time Loss injury rate decreased to 1.86 per 100 workers, a decrease of 0.13 per 100 workers, or by 6.53 per cent, from the 2018 rate of 1.99 per 100 workers. While 2019’s Time Loss injury rate is lower than 2018’s, it is consistent with the injury rates of 2017 and 2016.

“Even though last year’s injury rates decreased, the Time Loss injury rate is the same as it was a few years ago. While the 2019 rate is an improvement, it also means that we cannot become complacent in our efforts to make all workplaces safe in our province,” said Dobrowolsky.

Claims have also decreased:

  • Total claims accepted decreased by four per cent, from 22,371 in 2018 to 21,473 in 2019. The total number of workers covered increased from 410,600 in 2018 to 433,622 in 2019.
  • Accepted No Time Loss claims decreased from 14,192 in 2018 to 13,415 in 2019.
  • Accepted Time Loss claims decreased from 8,151 in 2018 to 8,036 in 2019.

There were 36 workplace fatalities in 2019, compared to 48 in 2018. This is a decrease of 25 per cent. These deaths occurred in a variety of Saskatchewan industries.

“Every one of the 36 deaths that occurred in 2019 has had a shattering impact on their families and communities,” said the WCB’s CEO Phil Germain. “We must continue to focus on preventing workplace deaths and serious injuries and eliminate this suffering in our province.”

WorkSafe Saskatchewan, the partnership between the WCB and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, launched the Fatalities and Serious Injuries Strategy in December 2019. The strategy was developed by WorkSafe, along with employer and labour representatives, to prioritize and address the high-risk industries, occupations and the tasks within those industries that are resulting in these fatalities and serious injuries.

WorkSafe is focusing on four priorities regarding fatalities – asbestos exposures, work-related motor vehicle crashes, firefighter cancer exposures and falls from heights in the construction industry.

“The Fatalities and Serious Injuries strategy represents our plan to reduce the number of workers killed and seriously injured on the job,” said Germain. “With all of us working together, we can keep bringing our injury rates down and make sure all of our workers stay safe on the job so they can go home to their families.”

The strategy is available at www.worksafesask.ca/prevention/serious-injuries-and-fatalities.

 

– 30 –

Media contact:
Carolyn Van der Veen

Director, Communications
Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board
306.787.4386 or cvanderveen@wcbsask.com

 

A ‘Hole’ New Approach to Safety

Mar
11

If you’re claustrophobic, you’re not going to want to hear this: Working in a confined space is estimated to be 150 times more dangerous than performing the same task outdoors.

The Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA), the Safety Association of Saskatchewan Manufacturers (SASM) and Regina-based virtual reality developer White Rabbit VR have signed an MOU to develop technology to make workers better trained for confined space work.

“Confined spaces are among the most hazardous workplaces. In Canada alone, it is estimated that there are 100 fatalities a year due to confined spaces work. There’s an urgent need to make confined spaces training better and more accessible,” says SCSA President Collin Pullar.

Part of the problem is the sheer expense of conventional confined spaces training methods.

“Currently, confined space training methods are either very expensive or less effective. Showing workers videos of confined space work does not fully prepare the worker for the sense of claustrophobia and restricted movement. It can be overwhelming for some. On the other hand, full-scale conventional physical confined space simulators are large, hard to transport and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” says SASM Executive Director Desira Rostad.

White Rabbit VR has built a prototype VR confined spaces simulator. Under the terms of the MOU, the safety associations and White Rabbit VR will conduct extensive industry and subject-matter consultations with the goal of expanding the prototype into a full-featured product accepted by industry and suitable to meet the associations’ certification standards.

“This won’t be a typical VR experience. It’s not just putting on a headset and looking at 3D pictures. We’re aiming to use the best available VR, mixed reality and hand-tracking technology to create a true ‘holodeck’ experience in which participants are both physically and visually immersed in the training experience,” says Mike MacNaughton, president of White Rabbit VR.

“Our goal is to create an inexpensive, confined spaces training program that can be packed up in a suitcase instead of hauled in by semi. For the members of our construction industry, it will mean making confined space training accessible and affordable to construction companies large or small,” says Pullar.

“The bottom line is that we are trying to save lives. By using the latest instructional training technology, we believe we will make a difference in making sure our members’ employees get home safe every day,” says Rostad.

- 30 -

For further information, contact:

Lyle Hewitt, White Rabbit VR 306-737-1271, lyle@whiterabbitvr.ca
Ed Pyle, SCSA, 306-525-0175, EdP@scsaonline.ca
Desira Rostad, SASM, 306-525-3185, desirar@sasm.ca

SCSA Annual General Meeting Keynote Speaker - Fred Antunes

Mar
10

Fred Antunes graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1987 and became a Professional Engineer in 1990.  He received a Certificate of Fellowship from Engineers Canada in May 2011.

Between 1988 and 2004, Fred held a variety of positions with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure and became a member of the senior management team at the Information Technology Office in the Government of Saskatchewan until 2007.  In 2007, Fred left the Government of Saskatchewan to start the Regina office for MDH Engineered Solutions Corp., which later became a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group.  During this time, he was the Project Manager for the Cutarm Creek Dam strengthening project, the Theodore Dam repairs and the Highway 1 at Maple Creek culvert replacement project, which were all recognized for excellence by the Consulting Engineers of Saskatchewan.  

Fred held various positions of increasing responsibility at SNC-Lavalin Inc. and in June 2015 he was appointed as the Senior Vice-President, General Infrastructure, where he had operational responsibility for a portfolio of major road and bridge design-build and private-public partnership construction projects, such as the Highway 407 ETR East Phase 1 Extension in Ontario and the New Bridge for the St. Lawrence in Montreal as well as responsibility for bidding major P3 construction projects for SNC-Lavalin Inc. such as the Regina Bypass, Gordie Howe International Bridge Project in Windsor-Detroit and the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project in Vancouver.  

Fred was appointed Deputy Minister of Saskatchewan Highways and Infrastructure on June 12, 2017. 

Notice of Annual General Meeting

Feb
27

SCSA Walks the Talk

Feb
25

The SCSA has been recognized by the Canadian Federation of Construction Safety Associations (CFCSA) as having jurisdictional authority in Saskatchewan to issue the Certificate of Recognition (COR®) certification and has been externally recognized as having the utmost diligence in applying the national standards for construction safety. The SCSA is an organization that walks the talk. In 2019 the SCSA received a COR audit score of 96%, a significant improvement from the 89% that was earned during the audit three years ago (pictured left - Thomas Archer, SCSA Vice President of Operations reviews the Executive Summary of the COR External Audit)

Executive Summary

I appreciate the opportunity to conduct an audit of your safety and health management system. The audit of the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association was conducted between January 20-23, 2020 using the SCSA National Standard Audit Tool and consisted of a review of documentation, office and site observations and employee interviews. A total of 12 workers and 8 management interviews were conducted between the Saskatoon and Regina offices.

The safety manual includes a relevant collection of safe job practices and safe job procedures. The SCSA workers understood the applicable procedures relevant to their position within the company. It was noted that while on site conducting safety PPE demonstrations, an inspection of the equipment was completed prior to use.

As with any program requiring continual improvement and updates, the SCSA audit revealed several areas that require some closer attention to be addressed. Specifically, workers should be aware of several company safety rules, and the process used when these rules are violated. The auditor commends the SCSA workers for their understanding of not only the 3 Rights, but also what they mean and how to apply them. I recommend to refer to each specific section of this audit for further recommendations based on other ways to improve in the future.

I would like to thank you again for the opportunity to conduct your audit. Your score of 96% verifies that an effective and well-designed safety program has been developed and implemented.

-Matt Lothian, Auditor, Construction Safety Assocation of Manitoba

 

Constructing Safety Leadership Conference Registration Now Open

Feb
11

If you are a construction business owner or leader in the industry, you don't want to miss your chance to hear from industry leaders at this year's Constructing Safety Leadership conference. 2020 highlights include:

  • Emerging Legal Trends
  • Safety Implementation
  • Leadership Strategies
  • Technology
  • Safety & Your Company
  • Locally recognized Keynotes and Moderators

Visit www.scsaonline.ca/events to register

Tickets: $100 each
Early Bird: $75 each - available until March 1
Ticket Sales close April 13, 2020

Tanner Goetz 

Tanner is both Munz Media's Founder, and Chief Creative Officer.

His dynamic nature and keen eye for “the shot” have allowed him to create beautiful, engaging & practical content for businesses across the province and beyond. 

Tanner’s story begins in 2011, when he started “Next Level Media” to create content for Saskatchewan sports organizations and small businesses. In the year’s that followed, the young entrepreneur saw a high demand for quality social media material, and he worked tirelessly toward his aspirations of creating a leading content creation agency. 

In 2017, Tanner dove heart-first into his endeavour to bring businesses to life through video & photo. Once a one-man band, Munz Media's audacious Director now leads a full-scale multimedia collective, trusted by some of Saskatchewan’s biggest brands.

 

Jeff N. Grubb

Jeff N. Grubb, Q.C. is a Partner in the Regina office of Miller Thomson LLP.  Jeff was called to the Bar in Saskatchewan in 1988 and has practiced in that province for his entire career.

Jeff practices in the Employment and Labour Law field; primarily representing employers and management.  Jeff also practices in the area of Civil Litigation with a unique appreciation and understanding of agribusiness and food issues and disputes.  In addition to practicing law, Jeff owns and operates a grain farm in Saskatchewan.  In October 2006 Jeff was recognized by Lexpert as one of Canada’s top 100 industry specialist lawyers (Food and Agriculture).

Jeff offers strategic and sage advice to employer clients endeavouring to manage their personnel in a responsible and productive manner. Jeff represents employers (in both unionized and non-unionized workplaces) in all employment matters, from hiring to termination, to human rights and harassment complaints, to grievance handling and arbitration, to wrongful dismissal claims. Jeff also represents employers in addressing human rights issues and complaints, including the scope and nature of an employer’s obligation to accommodate employees in relation to one of the prohibited grounds.

Jeff is also Miller Thomson’s Office Managing Partner in Saskatchewan as well as a member of Miller Thomson’s national Executive Committee.

Jeff is a past President of the Canadian Bar Association, Saskatchewan Branch and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Bar Association (National).  Jeff is also a former Coroner who presided over inquest hearings in the Province of Saskatchewan.

 

Jamie Nye

Jamie Nye grew up in Lumsden as a diehard fan of the Roughriders and a passion for sports.

 After graduating from the U of R with a Journalism degree, Jamie started down the path that would lead him to the Green Zone.  It detoured through Edmonton, where he was a sideline reporter for Edmonton Eskimos broadcasts.

But his heart remained in Saskatchewan.  He returned in 2011, to tell the stories that matter to fans here, and talk to them each day as host of the #1 sports show in Saskatchewan, “The Green Zone.”

Jamie’s never forgotten what it’s like to be the small-town kid watching the big games.  When Taylor Field was knocked down, his heartfelt commentary on the end of an era won a national award for Best Radio Commentary.

Jamie can be observed gnashing his teeth over the latest heartbreak of being a Vancouver Canucks fan, an Oakland Raiders fan, and kind of a Blue Jays fan.

For fun, Jamie loves traveling with no plan. “Pick a spot and figure it out when we get there by asking locals or finding a brochure at a local cafe.”

His guilty pleasure is reality TV. But his favourite reality TV is witnessing sports history. “Remarkable comebacks, Joe Carter’s walk off home run, Donovan Bailey’s 100m gold medal or Sidney Crosby’s golden goal are the reason I love doing what I do. The post game show after the 2013 Grey Cup was the most fun I’ve had on the radio in my career because it was not only sports history but Saskatchewan history.”

Most of all, Jamie is a proud dad of two, who loves to spend time with his family.

Jamie has proudly endorsed the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association since 2019 and is excited to be back again at this year’s Leadership Conference.

 

Mike McKenna

As Executive Director of the BC Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA), Mike McKenna brings to his position a passion for occupational health and safety and extensive industry knowledge and expertise that spans over 20 years. After discovering an interest in occupational therapy, Mike graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Medicine from the University of BC. He began his career as an occupational therapist at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre where he worked for 10 years. He joined WorkSafeBC in 1996 as an occupational therapist, but soon transitioned into management where he eventually became the liaison to the construction industry, assisting companies with assessment, claims, and health and safety concerns. Prior to joining BCCSA, he spent 3 years as a director and part owner of OrionHealth, a private rehabilitation company specializing in treating injured workers in BC and Alberta.

 

Brian L. Barber

Brian L. Barber has served the construction industry in his home province of Saskatchewan for over thirty years.  Currently he is the Senior Vice President, Saskatchewan with Ledcor Construction Limited, a leading North American, privately held, employee owned collection of construction companies.  Brian has played a key role in the management and development of a wide range of projects throughout Saskatchewan.  He has extensive purchasing and procurement experience earned through his years of business management.  Brian has developed a unique perspective in planning, building design and construction in a variety of commercial, community and institutional projects throughout Saskatchewan.  Brian holds the Gold Seal Certification in Project Management – General Contracting and has been involved in numerous organizations including the General Contractors Association of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Construction Association.  Brian is active in many civic interests including the Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.  He is currently active in the following organizations: 3s Health – Chairman; 3s Health Board of Trustees Benefits – Trustee; Golden Opportunities Fund – Chairman; Canadian Automobile Association – Board Member; Xperigo – Board Member; and Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board - Member

 

Errol Fisher

Errol Fisher is the Vice President of Operations at North Ridge Development Corporation, an award-winning builder that specializes in single and multi-family homes and condos.  Errol has an extensive history in the construction industry that started with a summer job working as a carpenter’s helper for a Saskatoon framing company.  In 1981, Errol was inspired to start his own framing company which operated in Saskatoon and surrounding areas, Western Canada, The North West Territories and Korea.  Errol also operated a wood wall panel prefabrication plant in Vancouver.

In 1997, Errol accepted an offer to work for North Ridge as a Site Supervisor and oversaw the construction of single-family homes, apartment-style condos and commercial buildings.  He was quickly transitioned to the VP of Construction and then to his current position as the VP of Operations.

Errol sits on a number of national, provincial and local boards.  At the national level he is the 2nd Vice-Chair of the Net Zero Council.  He is also the Chair of the Saskatoon and Region Home Builders’ Association Builder Committee and is the past-Chair for the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association and now serves on the Board.  Most recently, Errol was honoured as the CHBA 2017 Member of the Year due to his long-standing contributions to CHBA through his dedication and outstanding service.

 

Kathryn Pollack

Kathryn has extensive organizational experience spanning small to medium businesses, large corporations, crown corporations, and non-profits. She holds an MBA from the University of Regina along with a diverse professional background. Since returning to Saskatchewan over a decade ago, she has worked as a Land Officer with SaskPower, Land Environment and Community Manager with Vale and Assistant Deputy Minister with the Ministry of Energy and Resources.

Kathryn is known in the community as a high-integrity, energetic leader with an entrepreneurial spirit, focused on creating successful outcomes in complex environments, involving both internal and external stakeholders. An innovative thinker, Kathryn is passionate about connecting Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives to strategic business goals. Through her work as a land agent, she has had kitchen table meetings with landowners across the province and her commitment to interest-based negotiation translates into effective business dealings as well as successful consultative processes.

Kathryn’s approach to public engagement has been shaped by International Association of Public Participation training and principles. She holds deep respect for the positions and rights of all stakeholders, helping her clients engage in two-way dialogue based on facts, transparency and diverse perspectives. Her progressive leadership style, strategic perspective and engaging approach ensures that her projects move towards collaborative solutions.

Born and raised in Saskatchewan and having been back in the province since 2008, Kathryn has lived and worked in Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary.

 

 

 

Compliance Briefing: Key Trends in Workplace Drug Testing

Feb
5

Compliance Briefing: Key Trends in Workplace Drug Testing
- adapted from the February 2020 issue of OHS Insider

The legality of workplace drug/alcohol testing comes down to a balance between competing interests:

  • The employer’s need to maintain a safe workplace; and
  • The workers’ right to privacy and, where the worker has a dependency or addiction, accommodations for disabilities.

It’s up to courts, arbitrators, human rights and other tribunals to strike this balance by ruling on actual disputes that then become precedent for subsequent cases. Marijuana legalization may embolden workers and increase marijuana use.

As a result, OHS directors should keep close track of cases that have come down since legalization in Oct. 2018. Here’s a briefing on 6 key takeaways from recent cases.

1. There’s a Big Difference Between Addiction & Casual Use

The legally appropriate response to a positive test depends entirely on the answer to one question: Does the worker have a dependency or addiction? If so, the worker is considered to have a disability requiring accommodation to the point of undue hardship. Immediate and automatic discipline for testing positive violates that duty to accommodate. But if the worker is just a casual user, disability discrimination laws don’t come into play and the company is bound only by its usual disciplinary policies.

2. Accommodation ≠ Letting Safety-Sensitive Workers Work Impaired

While a company may have to let workers use medical marijuana or other legal impairing drugs for a disability offsite; however, allowing use while working likely constitutes undue hardship, especially if the job is safety-sensitive.

3. Accommodation Works Both Ways

The duty to accommodate typically requires that the company carries out a medical assessment of the worker’s capabilities to determine what accommodations are appropriate. Workers must provide the medical information required to make an assessment. The company’s duty to accommodate ends if workers unreasonably withhold this information, obstructs or otherwise fails to cooperate.

4. Generalized Suspicion Doesn’t Justify For-Cause Testing

While less controversial than random testing, for-cause testing can also generate grievances. Employers need to be careful not to abuse for-cause testing policies by treating anything and everything as a trigger for testing, including a general suspicion of workplace drug/alcohol use at the site.

5. The Evidence Counts as Much as the Law

When an employer loses in court, the main reason is usually lack of evidence. In other words, having the law on one’s side doesn’t help if there is a lack of proof.

 

To read the full article, click here. Also note that the issue contains a Model Drug & Alcohol Testing Policy on page 4.

Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association and Saskatchewan Polytechnic partnership focuses on construction safety

Jan
30

Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association and Saskatchewan Polytechnic partnership focuses on construction safety
MOU sets framework for a new partnership between the two institutions focused on construction safety

January 30, 2020 – The Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) and Saskatchewan Polytechnic signed a memorandum of understanding that will result in a strong foundation for a safe and healthy construction industry. This partnership will build upon the great work accomplished by the SCSA and Sask Polytech in the past and will explore opportunities to collaboratively engage more Saskatchewan learners in construction safety. 

This five-year agreement will strengthen the SCSA and Sask Polytech partnership and explore the creation of systems to better support a safe, skilled, inclusive and productive trades workforce. Both organizations have a goal of increasing construction safety participation from youth, as well as underrepresented groups including women, Indigenous learners and learners in remote communities.

“Our working relationship with Sask Polytech’s Joseph A. Remai School of Construction is one that brings increasing value to the construction industry and to learners entering the industry,” says Collin Pullar, president SCSA. “We are particularly happy about the recent expansion of this partnership and its implications for helping us achieve our goal of becoming the safest construction environment in Canada. This agreement ensures that a broader range of workers and future construction leaders have the skills to be successful and safe.”

“Sask Polytech takes our commitment to safety seriously,” says Paul Carter, dean of Sask Polytech’s Joseph A. Remai School of Construction. “We are pleased to formalize our long-standing relationship with the SCSA. This five-year agreement will strengthen our great working relationship and create new and exciting construction safety training opportunities for learners in Saskatchewan.”

The SCSA and the Sask Polytech are construction safety training partners. In 2018 the SCSA provided Joseph A. Remai School of Construction students with Safety Construction Orientation Training (SCOT®) at no cost. SCOT is recognized throughout the Saskatchewan construction industry as a base safety orientation in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. In 2019 the SCSA and Sask Polytech started to offer reciprocal course credit recognition of prior learning between the SCSA’s National Construction Safety Officer (NCSO®) courses and Sask Polytech’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) certificate.

About the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA): the SCSA is an industry-funded, membership-based, non-profit organization that provides cost-effective, accessible safety training and advice to employers and employees in the construction industry throughout the province to reduce the human and financial losses associated with injuries. Registered March 22, 1995 the SCSA is, and has been since inception, committed to injury prevention. Serving almost 10,000 member companies, the vision of the SCSA is to create the Safest Construction Environment in Canada through its mission of Constructing Safety Leadership.

About Saskatchewan Polytechnic: Sask Polytech serves students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.

-30 -

For more information contact:

Terri Larsen

SCSA

Marketing Coordinator

Office: 306-525-0175 (232)

Email: TerriL@scsaonline.ca

www.scsaonline.ca

Brianna Bergeron

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Communications and Marketing

Office: 306-659-3866

Cell: 306-250-3978

Email: brianna.bergeron@saskpolytech.ca

www.saskpolytech.ca

Multi-Year Partnership Aimed at Initiating a Change in Attitude and a Shift in Culture

Jan
27

Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2020

Multi-Year Partnership Aimed at Initiating a Change in Attitude and a Shift in Culture

REGINA, SK, October 17, 2019 – the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) and the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) are proud to announce that the partnership that was entered into for the 2017-2018 hockey season, and extended for the 2018-2019 season, is now a multi-year agreement that will see safety messaging featured prominently in the SJHL arenas, online and in print.

SCSA President, Collin Pullar, explains, “There are parallels that can be drawn between preventing critical sports injuries and preventing critical injuries in the workplace. Through our partnership with the SJHL we are doing some pretty creative stuff to make that connection. With the print and video creative that has been produced this year, we are hoping to initiate a change in attitude when it comes to preventing serious injuries and, we believe, that that change in attitude has the potential to impact how safety is viewed and practiced in this province. Today, business leaders are recognizing that losing a member of the team can impact the ability to get the job done on time and on budget. So looking at preventing the most impactful injuries makes good business sense.’

SJHL President, Bill Chow, adds, “The word ‘safety’ has become an important word, not only in the sporting world but also in the workplace. Many of the young men playing in the Saskatchewan Jr Hockey League will become employees and business owners in Saskatchewan once they have completed their hockey careers. By embracing the word “safety” now – whether that be in the context of player safety or workplace safety – these young players will have the best opportunity to have a long and successful hockey experience or, in the case of a workplace, a workday that ends with being able to see their family and loved ones. All injuries come at a cost. Embracing safety early in one’s hockey and work career pays off in immeasurable ways in the long run. The partnership between the SCSA and the SJHL highlights the idea that we can be safe while still doing what we love to do.”

It is estimated that preventable injuries cost the provincial economy $1.1 billion each year. The #SuitUp4Safety campaign is comprised of a series of safety messages that will be featured on the digital displays in each of the 12 communities that host SJHL teams, in the SCSA’s Safety Advocate newsletter, in the SJHL’s Overtime magazine and on the social media channels of both organizations. This year a 15-second and a 30-second video will be created and played during LIVE streamed events.

A short video has been created to kick off the #SuitUp4Safety campaign that features Collin Pullar “suiting up” for a hockey game and Bill Chow donning the personal protective equipment (PPE) common to the construction industry. To view, visit the SCSA YouTube channel.

For more information, please contact:

Terri Larsen
Marketing Coordinator

Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association
terril@scsaonline.ca
306.525.0175 ext. 232


About the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association

The Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) is an industry-funded, membership-based, non-profit organization that provides cost-effective, accessible safety training and advice to employers and employees in the construction industry throughout the province to reduce the human and financial losses associated with injuries. Registered March 22, 1995 the SCSA is, and has been since inception, committed to injury prevention. Serving almost 10,000 member companies, the major business units of the association are Advisory Services, Corporate Development, Corporate Services, Program Services and Training. 

About the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is a Junior A ice hockey league under Hockey Canada, a part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. Open to North American-born players 20 years of age or younger, the SJHL's 12 teams play in three divisions: the Olympic Buildings, Sherwood and Viterra Divisions. A major attraction in Saskatchewan, the SJHL draws 400,000 fans each season. The winner of the SJHL playoffs advances to play in the ANAVET Cup against the champion from the MJHL, for the right to represent the Western region at the National Junior A Championship.

PROVINCIAL CHAMBER LAUNCHES INDIGENOUS ENGAGEMENT CHARTER

Jan
21

PROVINCIAL CHAMBER LAUNCHES INDIGENOUS ENGAGEMENT CHARTER

Regina, SK – On Tuesday, January 21st, 2020, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC) launched its Indigenous Engagement Charter at the First Nations University in Regina, with an additional launch event in Saskatoon on January 22nd at the World Trade Centre at Prairieland Park.

The Indigenous Engagement Charter has been developed with expertise and cultural sensitivity and aims to bring Saskatchewan’s Indigenous population to the same economic level as the broader population by enhancing engagement from businesses. The Charter will assist businesses as they work towards enhanced engagement with Saskatchewan’s Indigenous communities.

“Indigenous engagement has been on the Chamber agenda for decades. I am thrilled that we have now launched this Charter, our most tangible and important effort in fully engaging Indigenous people with business,” said Steve McLellan, CEO of the SCC.

“The Indigenous population in Saskatchewan is the youngest and fastest growing population and businesses have the opportunity to begin creating inclusive hiring policies that will lead to attracting, recruiting, and retaining Indigenous people. This Charter is a valuable first step in this process” said Nick Crighton, Director of Indigenous Engagement at the SCC.

The following investors have supported the Indigenous Engagement Charter and made this initiative possible: Nutrien, Finning, Graham Group Ltd., SaskPower, CIBC, Workers’ Compensation Board of Saskatchewan, RBC, Meridian Surveys Ltd., Farm Credit Canada, Scotiabank, PCL Construction Ltd., and Cameco.

More information on the Indigenous Engagement Charter can be found here: https://saskchamber.com/programs/indigenous-engagement/ 

The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in Saskatchewan and represents the interests of over 10,000 individual businesses, industry associations, and local Chambers across the province through the Chamber network.

Year In Review

Jan
6

2019: Year in Review

Mention Saskatchewan outside the province and it's often the butt of jokes when it comes to topography, despite the landscape being varied. However, when you talk about the province's people, words like "gritty", "resourceful", "passionate", "innovative" and "self-sacrificing" are common. Saskatchewan people don't just walk tall, they Tall Walk, demonstrated by these characteristics. Coincidentally they are the same characteristics that differentiate exceptional leaders from good leaders.

SCSA President Collin Pullar and Kevin Capewell of Rawlco Radio surrounded by Evraz Place/Mosaic Stadium sit and discuss what makes an exceptional leader, the 2019 highlights and what 2020 will hold for the SCSA. To view full video, click here.

You Be the Judge: Can An Employer Piggyback on Worker’s Safety Training from Previous Employer?

Dec
9

You Be the Judge: Can An Employer Piggyback on Worker’s Safety Training from Previous Employer?
- adapted from the November 2019 issue of OHS Insider

Situation
A company hires a trained brickworker and puts him right to work. One of his job duties is to inspect bricks as they advance on the conveyor, hand-pick the bad bricks from the line and rake the good bricks so that a large dehacker machine can carry them away. Six months after starting the job, the brickworker wanders into an unguarded area in the path of the dehacker machine and gets crushed suffering injuries that would prevent him from ever working again. Since he had 30 years’ experience, the company gave him only a one-day crash training course on its safety procedures that didn’t cover the dangers of the dehacker machine, although it did warn him that the area was unguarded and that he needed to keep clear of it.

You Make the Call
True or False? The company was found liable for not properly training the brickworker, even though he was a skilled worker with 30 years of experience.

Answer
True

Explanation
This hypothetical is loosely based on the facts of an old but still important case called R. v. Canada Brick, [2005] O.J. No. 2978, June 30, 2005] that happened in Ontario but is cited in all parts of the country, including Saskatchewan.

The key question
Did the company exercise due diligence, i.e., take all reasonable steps to comply with the OHS laws and protect the brickworker from foreseeable risks? The court said no and held the company liable for, among other things, failing to properly train the brickworker how to do his job safely.

Two Lessons Illustrated

1. You Can’t Always Rely on Training from Previous Employers
The company admitted that it didn’t fully train the brickworker in the dangers of doing his job. But it said it didn’t have to. After all, the guy had more than 30 years’ experience at the other plant. So, it figured that it would be enough to acquaint him with the company’s safety procedures and let him do the job he had been trained to do. But the court saw it differently. A company can’t rely on the training provided by a previous employer, it said. Safety training from one company doesn’t necessarily translate to another company, particularly when the machines and processes involved are different. The company should have specifically trained all of its new workers, even the veterans, on the dangers of the dehacker machine.

2. Warnings Are Not a Substitute for Engineering Safety Measures
The other reason that the company couldn’t prove due diligence is that it didn’t have machine guards in place to block access to the dehacker machine. The supervisor was competent and conscientious. He would walk around the plant keeping an eye on workers, especially new ones, and caution them to be careful when working with the machines. Not only were these warnings not enough but, according to the court, they were evidence showing that the company recognized the risk of injury and didn’t do enough to prevent it.

Winter Safety

Dec
4

The mere mention of the word “winter”, regardless of where you live in this great country, never fails to illicit, at the very least, a cringe but mention driving in winter, or working in winter conditions and the response is inevitably more pronounced. Icy conditions, snow, and extreme temperatures present a number of potential hazards from dangerous driving conditions to downed power lines; cold stress; slips, trips and falls; and carbon monoxide exposure. Following are some things to consider when it comes to site, worker and personal safety.

Preparedness

Planning for business interruptions, emergencies, and disasters is an important part of owning and running a business. An emergency preparedness plan outlines procedures for handling sudden or unexpected situations, and is an important component of any workplace health and safety program. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, there are six key steps to emergency planning:

  • Establish the planning team: representatives from all departments and levels, with support from senior management, is most effective
  • Assess the risks and company capabilities
  • Develop the emergency response plan
  • Implement the plan: obtain equipment, communicate, and train
  • Test the plan: hold drills or simulation exercises
  • Improve the plan continuously

Some of the elements that an emergency preparedness plan should include are: a description of the scope and scale of potential emergencies specific to the region in which the business operates; a list of the methods of initiating a response; site-specific response procedures; the command structure, roles and responsibilities; procedures for shutting down the power and for evacuations; a communication plan and an emergency contact list.

Exposure

“A strong safety culture extends to all seasons, even in winter when cold stress is common among outdoor workers.” – Corey Berghoefer, Safety Tips to Prevent Winter-Related Workplace Accidents, EHS Today

Construction season does not end with the arrival of Old Man Winter. As the temperature drop, it is important to remember that prolonged exposure to cold, wet and windy conditions, even when the temperatures are above freezing, can be dangerous. Frostbite and hypothermia are the two main consequences of cold exposure. To avoid injuries and minimize lost time incidents it is important to know the signs and take precautions.

Signs of Hypothermia:

  • Shivering or shaking
  • Lack of coordination
  • Drowsiness or confusion
  • Slurred speech

Signs of Frostbite:

  • Skin that is very cold and turns numb, hard and pale
  • Blisters or swelling
  • Joint or muscle stiffness

Follow these simple precautions to avoid frostbite and hypothermia:

  • Watch the weather – forewarned is forearmed
  • Wear several layers of clothing as opposed to dressing in one thick layer
  • Protect extremities by wearing gloves and proper fitting foot wear. Consider adding an additional pair of socks on very cold days
  • Take frequent short breaks in a warm shelter to allow the body to warm up
  • Eat warm, high calorie food like pasta. The body expends more energy in cold conditions so eating a proper diet will go a long way toward combatting fatigue

Slips, Trips and Falls

In Canada, more than 42,000 workers get injured annually due to falls, according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Statistics show the majority (66%) are due to slips and trips on the same level. The remaining (34%) are falls from heights, such as ladders, stairs, or roofs. Winter worksite conditions create an increased risk for injuries related to slips, trips and fall. To avoid injury, employees should:

  • Walk slowly and deliberately, and remain focused on the path ahead. This is especially true when carrying heavy and/or awkward objects
  • Where possible, avoid slippery surfaces, such as wet or icy areas, and snow banks
  • Wear appropriate footwear with slip-resistant soles to work, and change into indoor footwear (NOTE: ice grippers that attach to footwear can provide additional traction for walking and working outside)
  • Use handrails where available
  • Check to make sure entrance areas and stairs are clear of snow and slush as these create slippery conditions

It is business owner/employer’s responsibility to:

  • Monitor the weather and keep parking lots, walkways and worksites clear of snow
  • Given that the daylight hours are reduced during winter months, it is important to provide adequate lighting for parking lots, walkways and worksites
  • Clearly identify steps, ramps, and other elevation changes
  • Secure mats and rugs that do not lay flat
  • Ensure that workers who are required to work in cold conditions, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Define everyone’s role in preventing slips and falls, and communicate those roles to all employees
  • Follow up and, if necessary, address slip, trip and fall concerns reported by employees and other visitors to the business

Carbon Monoxide

To prevent exposure to CO gas:

  • When heating an enclosed space, use an indirect-fired heater
  • Check propane vehicle-cab heaters for leaks and proper venting
  • Operate engines outdoors when possible
  • When engines must be operated indoors, take the following precautions:
    • Choose electric rather than fuel-powered equipment
    • Make sure the area is well ventilated. Keep doors and windows open, and use fans to bring in fresh air
    • Monitor CO levels regularly with a gas detector

Winter Driving

In addition to the driving hazards related to changing road conditions during the winter months, wildlife can also provide an increased risk, especially during the hours of dawn and dusk. Having the proper tires and ensuring appropriate tire pressures is critical to avoid driving related incidents. Some other tips for getting from Point A to Point B safely during the winter months are:

  • Maintain and service vehicles regularly
  • Monitor the weather and allow extra travel time
  • Avoid distracted driving – eating, drinking, and using cellphones and other electronic devices
  • Ensure that vehicles are equipped with the following:
    • Winter survival kit that includes a flashlight, jumper cables, kitty litter or other coarse friction enhancing material, snow brush/ice scraper, warning devices, blankets, energy-boosting snacks, and water
    • Shovel

Winter can be a magical time of year, filled with unique activities and experiences for the winter enthusiast but the unpredictability of this season make preparedness a crucial element in preventing injuries both on and off the worksite.

For more information, check out the following Tool Box Talks that relate to winter conditions:

Emergency Preparedness

Foot Protection Safety

Lighting Conditions

Temporary Heating

Frostbite

Slips, Trips and Falls

Winter Site Safety

Working in Cold Weather

 

Introduction Of A New Strategy Looks To Reduce Fatalities And Serious Injuries In The Workplace

Dec
2

Introduction Of A New Strategy Looks To Reduce Fatalities And Serious Injuries In The Workplace

Released on December 2, 2019

Today a new approach to preventing fatalities and serious workplace injuries that looks at high-risk industries and the tasks within those industries was introduced.

The three-year Fatalities and Serious Injuries Strategy is the product of WorkSafe Saskatchewan, which is a partnership between the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety.

“Safety needs to be a priority in every workplace and across all industries,” Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said.  “Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely unacceptable and leave a devastating impact on loved ones.  I’m pleased that we have been able to work together with a number of stakeholders to develop a strategy with concrete actions that will help to reduce the number of workplace fatalities and injuries.”

The strategy will focus on priority industries and occupations, where the greatest number of injures to workers are reported.  Approximately 2,400 Saskatchewan workers are seriously injured each year and from 2010-2018 the WCB reported 354 fatalities for workers who died on, or as a result of their job.

The three-year strategy outlines targets to reducing the number of injuries and the actions that will be taken to achieve these numbers.  The four injury priority areas are asbestos exposure, work related motor vehicle crashes, firefighter cancer exposure and falls from heights.

“Workplace safety is everyone’s responsibility and this strategy looks to build on the work that is already taking place to reduce serious injuries and fatalities,” WCB Board Chairperson Gord Dobrowolsky said.  “If we are to be successful, we need to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders so workers go home safely each day.”

Copies of the full strategy are available here: www.worksafesask.ca/prevention/serious-injuries-and-fatalities/.

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Toews
Labour Relations and Workplace Safety
Regina
Phone: 306-787-1331
Email: jennifer.toews3@gov.sk.ca

Carolyn Van der Veen
Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board
Regina
Phone: 306-787-4386
Email: CVanderVeen@wcbsask.com

Collin Pullar weighs in on the use of technology in international publication

Nov
19

Collin Pullar, President of the SCSA, was recently asked to weigh in on the topic of reducing risks through digital construction for JLT’s publication, Building Sight. JLT is a global organization of specialists and one of the world’s leading providers of insurance and risk management brokerage and associated services. The global construction magazine, Building Sight, is published monthly by Atom Publishing in the UK.

VR can be used to raise awareness of potential hazards before a worker even gets on site through immersive site-safety training. The Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) in Canada, an industry-funded training provider, launched “Hazard ID VR” training, which envelops students in a workplace scenario and challenges them to spot hazards in a game format. “Telling people how to stay safe isn’t enough to overhaul a culture that has historically struggled with safety,” says SCSA president Collin Pullar. The tool is very popular among young trainees, adds Pullar, which is positive because 25% of injury claims to the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board involve workers under 25.

SCSA Welcomes the Saskatchewan Growth Plan’s Emphasis on Safety

Nov
18

The Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association welcomes Saskatchewan Growth Plan’s emphasis on safety with respect to how it grows “a skilled labour force through education and training”.

“While many think of provincial growth in purely economic or population related terms, it is critical to understand that strong growth can only be sustained by managing and controlling the risks that can lead to human and financial loss”, says Collin Pullar, President of the SCSA.

For industry, the Plan for Growth to 2030 calls for:

Creating Safer Workplaces:

A competitive business environment requires employment laws that are fair and balanced, while fostering a growth-oriented economy. Reducing workplace injuries will lower health care and workers’ compensation costs, while improving business productivity.

To ensure better protection of Saskatchewan workers on the job, the Government of Saskatchewan will focus on reducing serious workplace injuries and fatalities, promote the importance of workplace safety and ensure workplaces are in compliance with health and safety regulations.

In addition, the Growth Plan calls for the continued delivery of key programs to help young people understand their rights and obligations in the workplace.

The SCSA remains committed to helping our industry create the safest construction environment in Canada through its programs and strategic partnerships. 

Link to The Plan for Growth 2030:

www.saskatchewan.ca/government/budget-planning-and-reporting/plan-for-growth

 

SCSA Constructing Safety Leadership Awards

Nov
6

About the SCSA Awards

Each year the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) acknowledges individuals, companies, and committees throughout the province of Saskatchewan, for efforts given to promote the SCSA’s mission and vision.

Mission - Constructing Safety Leadership
Vision - Creating the Safest Construction Environment in Canada

Corporate Leadership in Safety Awards

The Corporate Leadership in Safety Awards are presented to member companies – in recognition of their dedication, outstanding contribution, commitment and leadership to support the SCSA’s mission and vision in an effort to enhance health and safety in the workplace.

Safety Practitioner and Safety Leader Awards

The Safety Practitioner and Safety Leader Awards are presented to individuals – in recognition of their dedication, outstanding contribution, and commitment to safety as well as well as their embodiment of the SCSA’s mission and vision to create a healthy and safe workplace.

Regional Safety Committee Distinguished Progress Award

The Regional Safety Committee Distinguished Progress Award is presented to one Regional Safety Committee by the SCSA Board of Directors – in recognition of their dedication and outstanding contribution to support the SCSA’s mission and vision in an effort to improve health and safety in the construction industry.

Awards Committee and Selection Method

An award committee consisting of two members from the SCSA Board of Directors, a senior member of the SCSA Operations Leadership Group, and the Executive Assistant review all nomination applications. Using a standardized evaluation scorecard to grade each application. These scorecards are then sent to a third party to select the winner and finalists of each category based on overall scores.

All nomination questionnaires, and letters must be fully completed, signed, and submitted by email to the SCSA Executive Assistant, awards@scsaonline.ca on or before December 31st to be eligible for the SCSA Annual Constructing Leadership Awards.

Award Finalists

Finalists are notified by both mail and email and invited to attend the SCSA Annual General Meeting (AGM) where the winners for each category are announced. Winners are presented with an award and receive special acknowledgment/recognition in various SCSA print and broadcast marketing promotional material including the SCSA Safety Advocate and online on the SCSA website and social media channels. Additionally, winners receive tickets to the SCSA Constructing Safety Leadership Conference, an SCSA promo package, personalized press release and a custom logo for use in their own marketing activities for a period of one year.  

Deadline to nominate is December 31, 2019 fillable .pdf available here.

 

SCSA and Sask Polytechnic expand Occupational Health and Safety training recognition

Nov
6

SCSA and Sask Polytechnic expand Occupational Health and Safety training recognition
Partnership aims to provide reciprocal recognition of prior learning for success in the construction industry

November 6, 2019 – Effective in the fall of 2019 the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) and Saskatchewan Polytechnic will provide reciprocal course credit recognition of prior learning between the SCSA’s National Construction Safety Officer (NCSO®) courses and Sask Polytech’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) certificate. This will benefit health and safety practitioners with an interest of working in the construction industry, as well as those who wish to advance their learning and career opportunities.

Previously, NCSO participants could receive Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) for their coursework to obtain credit for Sask Polytech’s OHS certificate. With this new partnership, graduates from Sask Polytech’s OHS certificate can now also receive credit towards NCSO courses.

“At the SCSA, our vision is to create the safest construction environment in Canada; our mission is constructing safety leadership and this partnership and agreement will certainly contribute to both our vision and our mission,” says Collin Pullar, SCSA president.

“This partnership with the SCSA benefits our OHS certificate graduates interested in a career within the construction industry,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, Sask Polytech president and CEO. “Now OHS graduates can achieve their NCSO designation quicker, through recognition of the coursework they completed at Sask Polytech. Those taking NSCO coursework can also receive recognition of their studies through PLAR. It’s a great reciprocal partnership.”

The SCSA and Sask Polytech have signed a five-year reciprocal agreement.

The SCSA administers the NSCO program in Saskatchewan. The program provides verification of a nationally recognized level of competency in relation to construction safety. It also provides practical training in various construction safety management skills and principles. The NSCO designation is a requirement for many health and safety careers within the construction industry.

OHS professionals play an important role within many organizations, helping to make workplaces and communities a safer place to live, work and play. Sask Polytech’s OHS certificate plays an integral role in developing and supporting prospective and current OHS professionals meet a goal of zero workplace injuries and fatalities across the country.

Sask Polytech’s OHS 906 hour certificate program, recognized by the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals, includes an 80-hour two-week practicum component. For those already working in industry the program offers credit based on previous experience through PLAR.

About the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association: The Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) is an industry-funded, membership-based, non-profit organization that provides cost-effective, accessible safety training and advice to employers and employees in the construction industry throughout the province to reduce the human and financial losses associated with injuries. Registered March 22, 1995 the SCSA is, and has been since inception, committed to injury prevention. Serving almost 10,000 member companies, the major business units of the association are Advisory Services, Corporate Development, Corporate Services, Program Services and Training.

About Saskatchewan Polytechnic: Sask Polytech serves students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.

For more information, contact:

Terri Larsen

Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association

Marketing Coordinator

Office: 306-525-0175 ext. 232

Email: terril@scsaonline.ca

 

 

Brianna Bergeron

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Communications and Marketing

Office: 306-659-3866

Cell: 306-250-3978

Email: brianna.bergeron@saskpolytech.ca

 

 

WCB announces proposed 2020 average employer premium rate

Oct
23

WCB announces proposed 2020 average employer premium rate
Average preliminary rate will remain at $1.17

Regina, SK, Oct. 23, 2019 – The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB)’s 2020 proposed average employer premium rate will remain at $1.17 per hundred dollars of payroll. This is the same rate as in 2019. The announcement was made today in Prince Albert at the WCB’s annual rate setting meeting with Saskatchewan workers, employers and stakeholders.

“After more than a decade of decreases to our average premium rate, the average rate will not drop in 2020. Instead, our expected average rate will remain the same as last year’s rate,” said the WCB’s CEO Phil Germain. “Although the proposed average premium rate hasn’t changed, two-thirds of employers will see an increase to their industry premium rate next year. The economy plays a factor in whether our payroll will increase or decrease. We’re also seeing a consistent number of serious injuries occurring annually, which impacts claims costs. When claims costs increase at a faster rate than payroll, this impacts premium rates.”

Claims costs increased 7.62 per cent from 2017 to 2018. Contributing factors included increases in mental health claims costs, as well as a significant increase in the number of fatalities, which increased 78 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017. These types of claims that are more serious in nature require more, longer-term treatment and impact claims costs.

“The WCB’s 2020 proposed average premium rate is 43 per cent below the 17-year high of $2.05 in 2004. Preventing injuries plays a part in determining premium rates. While over the last three years 88 per cent of employers have achieved zero workplace injuries, the leveling off of the premium rate indicates that there is still more work to be done,” said Germain. “Our compensation system is designed to ensure that our employers pay for the costs related to today’s claims. Premiums collected in a rate year cover the lifetime costs associated with the claims that happen in that year.”

With the 2020 rate proposal:

While Saskatchewan continues to have the third lowest premium rate in the country, premium rates for 67 per cent of employers will increase next year. The increases range from 0.8 per cent to 11.1 per cent.

Industry premium rates for 33 per cent of Saskatchewan’s employers covered by the WCB will see a decrease or no change for 2020. The decreases range from 0.7 per cent to 12 per cent.

The overall 2020 proposed average employer rate will remain at $1.17 per hundred dollars of payroll.

“For more than a decade, we’ve seen Saskatchewan workers and employers commit to injury prevention in the workplace. Not only has this protected the wellbeing of workers and employers, but it has also influenced the rates employers pay,” said the WCB’s Board Chairperson Gord Dobrowolsky. “We cannot thank all of you enough for your injury prevention efforts. However, even with these advances, we all need to remain vigilant to keep 100 per cent of our workplaces injury-free.”

Media Contact: Carolyn Van der Veen, Director, Communications, WCB
306.787.4386 or 306.535.2374 or 1.800.667.7590 ext. 4386
cvanderveen@wcbsask.com

After the Ban: the Continuing Impact of Asbestos and the Need for Prevention

Oct
9

On Monday, October 7th, 2019, Dr. Paul Demers presented asbestos results from the national Burden of Occupational Cancer in Canada project, results from the surveillance projects identifying groups at highest risk for asbestos-related disease, and trends and projections for mesothelioma, as well as a bit of their other asbestos research.  His presentation also focused  on some of the work with the Institute for Work and Health to assess the economic impact of asbestos exposure.  Paul stressed the continuing need for prevention, presenting  recommendations and other considerations, as well as some of the challenges and need for further research in this area. 

To view the presentation, click the link below:

Burden of Occupational Cancer in Canada

To view the videos from the sessions click on the links below:

After the Ban: the Continuing Impact of Asbestos and the Need for Prevention

The impact of Exposure to Workplace Carcinogens in Canada

Paul A. Demers, PhD
Director, Occupational Cancer Research Centre
Professor (status), Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

https://www.occupationalcancer.ca/aboutocrc/people/scientists-and-affiliated-scientists/

 

Partnership Rewards Fall Protection Use on Worksites

Oct
2

Throughout August, September and October, WorkSafe Saskatchewan, in partnership with the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA), is conducting a campaign to recognize residential construction workers who are committed to safety on the job site.

As part of this campaign, the WorkSafe team and the SCSA will visit residential construction sites throughout the province this fall to identify workers who are wearing their PPE and fall protection. The SCSA will select a worker to win a duffel bag containing useful items. In addition, crews will be treated to coffee and donuts. The winners and their company’s safety practices will be announced on social media and local radio. To learn more: www.worksafesask.ca/rewardingsafety

Photo contest - Construction compaies are invited to participate in the campaign to help make PPE and fall protection a priority on all Saskatchewan residential construction sites. Simply share a photo of a crew with fall protection in place on #WorkSafe social media channels to get rewarded

Safety Construction Orientation Training (SCOT®)

Sep
26

The Safety Construction Orientation Training (SCOT®) program is an interactive, online training course composed of 13 modules, each focused on a different fundamental aspect of worksite safety. SCOT is convenient, easy-to-use and readily accessible online. The program provides the basics in construction safety and requires 100% mastery of 13 modules which include:

Workplace Law
Workplace Hazards
Managing Worksite Conditions and Equipment
Personal Physical Care and Conduct
WHMIS2015
Powered Mobile Equipment
Ladder and Scaffold Safety
Fall Protection
Environmental Safety
Excavating and Trenching
Defensive Driving
Personal Protective Equipment
Emergency Response

 

 

OHS Compliance Cheat Sheet: Work Refusals

Sep
16

OHS Compliance Cheat Sheet: Work Refusals
The Dangerous Work Refusal Dilemma
- adapted from the September 2019 issue of OHS Insider

Refusing to perform assigned work is normally an act of insubordination for which a worker can be disciplined. But OHS laws create a special exemption that allows workers to refuse unreasonably dangerous work to protect their own or another person’s safety. Disciplining workers for exercising their refusal rights is a form of reprisal or “discrimination” banned by the law. And the dangerous conditions that prompt the refusal may potentially be serious OHS violations that must be addressed immediately. On the other hand, work refusals can be highly disruptive and are supposed to be used only as a last resort. That’s why refusal rights are subject to strict limitations affecting both the nature of the worker’s safety concern and the process of initiating the refusal. If the limitations aren’t met, the refusal is invalid and the worker may be disciplined for continuing to engage in it. While it may sound simple, responding to a work refusal and assessing its validity is hard to do, especially in the heat and tension of the moment. Following are some things to consider:

1. Which Workers Can Refuse Dangerous Work
Refusal rights cover any worker asked to do a dangerous job or confront a dangerous condition—union or non-union, full-time or part-time, temporary or permanent, paid or volunteer—as long as the danger is real and the proper refusal processes are followed.

2. When a Refusal Is and Is Not Justified
A worker has the right to refuse to do any specific job or task if they believe it is unusually dangerous. The danger may be to the worker or to any other person. An unusual danger could include:

  • A danger that is not normal for the job (e.g., repairing a roof in dangerous winds);
  • A danger that would normally stop work (e.g., operating a forklift with a flat tire); or
  • A situation for which you are not properly trained, equipped, or experienced to do the work assigned (e.g., cleaning windows on a tall building with no fall protection equipment or training).  

Sincere: First, workers must genuinely believe that they’re in danger and not use the refusal as a pretext to get out of an unpleasant assignment.

Reasonable: Sincerity isn’t enough. Workers must also have “reasonable” grounds to believe that work operations, conditions or equipment pose a danger to themselves or others. “Reasonable” is an objective standard that evaluates whether an average person in the same circumstances would consider the operation, equipment or condition dangerous.

Unusual: Even if the fear is sincere and the danger is real, the refusal may still not be justified if it’s an inherent and normal part of the job. However, workers who do dangerous jobs are allowed to refuse work that puts them at abnormal and non-inherent risk.

3. How the Refusal Begins
Workers can’t just pack up and go home. They must immediately notify their supervisor or employer that they’re engaging in a work refusal and explain their health and safety concerns.

4. The Initial Investigation Stage: Supervisor and/Employer
Once a worker explains why they have refused work, the supervisor or other person who receives the notice must take immediate action. The options:

  • Correct the health and safety hazard that prompted the worker to engage in the refusal; or
  • Investigate the situation and determine if there is a danger and, if so, how to correct it.

5. The Initial Investigation Findings of the Supervisor and/or Employer
The initial refusal investigation must take place immediately and reach 1 of 2 conclusions:

  • Danger - corrective actions taken or needed (including informing the Occupational Health and Safety committee); or
  • No danger - corrective actions unnecessary.

The worker now has a decision to make:

  • Accept the corrective actions taken or no danger determination and return to work; or
  • continue the refusal. NOTE: if the worker decides to continue the refusal the OHS Committee will convene an emergency meeting to investigate the refusal, meet and vote to determine if the worker has reasonable grounds to refuse the work. If the concern cannot be resolved within the workplace, an occupational health officer at the Occupational Health and Safety Division should be contacted.

6. The OHS Officer Investigation
Upon receiving notification, the agency sends an official to investigate the situation and issue whatever orders he/she believes are necessary to resolve the situation.

7. The Possibility of a Court Appeal
Although it doesn’t happen very often, workers who are still unsatisfied at this point still have one last option and that is to appeal the OHS investigator’s findings.

8. What Happens to the Worker during the Refusal
Time spent during a refusal counts as work time for which the refusing worker is entitled to full pay and benefits.

We Are Listening

Sep
10

As an industry-funded, membership-based, non-profit organization that provides cost-effective, accessible safety training advice to nearly 10,000 employers and their employees in the residential, commercial and industrial construction industry throughout Saskatchewan to reduce the human and financial losses associated with injuries, the SCSA’s mission is constructing safety leadership. The Board of Directors wants to hear member companies' thoughts and ideas on how to best achieve the SCSA's mission and vision - to create the safest construction environment in Canada. President, Collin Pullar explains in this short video.

Collin Pullar on Tall Walking

Sep
4

Mention Saskatchewan outside the province and it is often the butt of jokes about its topography (you can watch your dog run away for days), despite the landscape being varied. Cold winters, farming and the Riders are also quick to come to mind in association with the province; however, when the conversation turns its people, words like “gritty”, “resourceful”, “passionate”, “innovative”, and “self-sacrificing” are common.  Saskatchewanians don’t proudly walk tall, the people of Saskatchewan demonstrate that they can “tall walk” through character. Coincidentally, these characteristics are also what differentiates exceptional leaders from good leaders:

Grit – People with grit tend to play and work with a passion to persevere over the long haul. Their tenacity continually causes them to push themselves and others to be better, in spite of setbacks. Grit can be developed, but to do so requires difficulty and discomfort. The elite leaders in business and safety are always pushing themselves to be better, even at times when it is not really needed. The enemy of grit is ease, which typically leads to complacency. Complacency, in turn, leads to lack of competiveness, lower productivity, and, from a safety perspective, is the most common predictor of injuries.

Resourcefulness – Effective leaders are extremely resourceful. They are quick learners and collaborators, particularly in situations that are difficult or confusing. On site, they are the ones that instinctually gather the team and figure out what they need to do to finish an unusual job, safely, and on time.  Despite the odds, they find a way to solve problems and are not afraid to try new methods to take on new challenges. 

Having a motivating “WHY” – Have you ever worked with, or for, someone that always seemed to inspire others with their passion? This type of individual has shifted their thinking from not just having success, but also significance, in what they do and achieve. Saskatchewan has been lucky to have so many leaders who have made the connection between their work and strengthening their communities. These are the men and women who motivate others through their passion and have dared to build dreams bigger than themselves. 

Innovation – Innovation is often thought of as that incredible and unique "ah-ha" invention that no one has ever thought of and that will change the world as humankind knows it. In practice; however, this is not how innovation typically works. Even revolutionary ideas are not necessarily instances of lightning that suddenly appear in a bottle. Most innovations are small, and often unnoticed, changes to previously well-established ideas, practices, or products. More often, they are the result of combining and applying existing ideas for the simple goal of making things a little better. 

Innovation is not just about being creative either. Being creative is important but creativity by itself, is not innovation. Innovation is a bit different. True innovation requires taking some risks . . . and taking risks means risking failure.  Taking risks means showing some vulnerability and innovation can often mean getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Self-Sacrifice and Care for People – While one can develop a range of sharp technical and strategic skills, without a significant care for people, a leader and company breeds dysfunction, arrogance, and coldness, that puts workers and customers at risk.

Exceptional leadership, in particular, has an aspect to it where one can no longer afford to just think selfishly of themselves, their success, and their stuff.  Leaders who begin to care more about seeing others grow are the leaders who gain as much enjoyment from the success of other than of their own success. These leaders often realize the sacred burden that results in sleepless nights concerned about team members and others that are reliant on their leadership. Already tough decision become tougher when the human factor is acknowledged and there is an awareness of the impact on their teams, their communities, etc. Making tough decisions doesn’t always feel good and often requires a balance between sacrificing one’s ego and caring for people.

There is a common Jamaican proverb that says “Wi lickle but wi Tallawah” (we’re little, but we’re Tallawah).  The patios word Tallawah stems from the word stalwart, meaning strong, unwavering, committed, gritty, resolute and unfaltering. The statement literally means, “we may be small, but do not underestimate us, we refuse to be restrained by boundaries or preconceived notions . . . yes we, Tall Walk”.  Saskatchewan people are so well known for this element of their character.  Yes, as a population, they are smaller in number, but many Saskatchewan people have developed the exceptional character and ability to Tall Walk and this has influenced businesses and organizations across this country and around the world. 

Leaders are expected to create vision, see over the horizon, listen closely to signals in the environment, make bold decisions, and focus the team on the major strategic goals all while keeping complacency and distraction from affecting the ability to execute the strategies necessary to succeed. It is a very tall order but Saskatchewan’s Top 100 companies have proven, again that they can take on this challenge to walk tall.

Call For Expressions of Interest - Construction Rescue Competition

Aug
30

This proposed event would be comparable to mine rescue competetions held in other sectors.

For more information please contact edp@scsaonline.ca

SCSA Proud to Support Building Safer Trades Initiative

Aug
13

 Building Safer Trades

August 13, 2019

The Saskatchewan Safety Council and Saskatchewan Building Trades are working together on a joint project. The Building Safer Trades initiative provides free practical safety training and information on union trades for Indigenous youth in Saskatchewan. The project is funded, in part, by the Government of Canada’s Union Training and Innovation Program.

Over 3 years, the project aims to engage and provide training to 432 Indigenous youth between the ages of 14 to 21. This year (2019), the free training is being offered in the Regina Area; in 2020 it will be offered in the Saskatoon area, and in 2021, the Prince Albert area. The project also intends to reach 150 Indigenous teachers, career counselors, and education directors from Tribal Councils.

Lyle Daniels, Inclusion Manager - Build Together at Saskatchewan Building Trades, and Amanda LePine, Community Relations Coordinator with the Saskatchewan Safety Council, will be hosting an Educator’s Workshop on August 28, 2019 in Fort Qu’Appelle to introduce the project.

Participating students will first complete the Career Safety Education program followed by Red Cross Online Blended Learning First Aid/CPR-B (Adult, Infant and Child Rescue).

Below is a list of all the student learning modules included in the Building Safer Trades project.

  • Young Worker’s Readiness Course – This course teaches about workplace health and safety. Learn about the responsibilities, workplace rights and those of the employer.
  • Mental Health Wellness Training – This course teaches how to recognize stress, improve and maintain mental wellness, and how to manage stress effectively.
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS 2015) – This course teaches how to identify, handle, and store chemicals properly and safely.
  • Safety Construction Orientation Training (SCOT) – This course provides a safety overview of worksites in trades and/or building construction. *This course must be selected as the industry orientation to be a part of the Building Safer Trades project*
  • 8 Hours of online First Aid training
  • First Aid & CPR-B instructor-lead hands-on training component in their community thereby eliminating the barrier of location.

A certificate of completion of the Building Safer Trades program will be provided upon completion of all modules. Many thanks to the contributing partner organizations who make Career Safety Education possible. Learn more about them and the program at: www.careersafetyeducation.ca

Mental Health Resources for Construction Industry Available

Jul
26

“In the construction industry hazard recognition and control usually refers to assessing the risks on a job site,” says SCSA President, Collin Pullar, “but business owners and leaders in the industry need to understand that mental health is a safety issue too and it is probably bigger than they realize.” The topic of mental health, and suicide in particular, has been the focus of articles, panel discussions and media across the country since the statistic was released in 2018 that suicide rates in the industry are three times the national average.

According to an article entitled, Suicide in the Construction Industry, published by rbl Chartered Professional Accountants, based in Ontario, “the costs per suicide are even more alarming. A study in New Brunswick found the cost of suicide per death to be $849,877 (Clayton, 1999) while an American study calculated the number at over $1 million (Shepard, 2015). More than 97% of these costs are due to lost productivity, while the remaining 3 percent are costs associated with provision of emergency medical services.”

In theory, recognizing the hazard and taking steps to prevent a mental health incident should be the same as controlling and mitigating the risk of any other job site hazard but often business owners and leaders are not adequately equipped with the knowledge and resources needed. WorkSafe Saskatchewan offers FREE online learning related to Psychological Health and Safety in the workplace for Saskatchewan workers and employers.  E-learning courses are designed to be self-paced and accessible from anywhere in the province. 

The courses were developed by the Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) and are being delivered in partnership with WorkSafe Saskatchewan. CCOHS courses are unique in that they are developed by subject specialists in the field, and reviewed by representatives from labour, employers and government to ensure the content and approach are unbiased and credible. Following is a list of the FREE e-courses currently offered:

Mental Health:  Awareness
Mental Health:  Communication Strategies
Mental Health:  Health and Wellness Strategies
Mental Health:  Psychologically Safe Workplaces
Mental Health:  Signs, Symptoms and Solutions

To register visit www.ccohs.ca/distributors/sask/

NOTE:  upon registration, a dollar amount will appear; however, once Saskatchewan residency is confirmed during the "checkout" process, the cost will zero.

All Hands In Initiative Reaches Thousands

Jul
25

According to Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) claims made in 2017, hand injuries accounted for nearly 30 percent of all injuries in the construction industry. The All Hands In hand health and safety awareness campaign was a partnership between the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) and WorkSafe Saskatchewan aimed at addressing the high number of cuts and lacerations in this industry with injury prevention messaging.

Through in-person tool box talks, safety meetings and hand safety demonstrations SCSA Advisors distributed hundreds of cut resistant, co-branded gloves. Other campaign elements - which included a broadcast marketing campaign; a concentrated social media campaign which included regular Twitter and Facebook posts; and some print marketing - expanded the audience reach and engagement to the thousands. The All Hands In hand health and safety awareness initiative targetted business owners; health and safety practitioners; and employees or workers through injury prevention messaging efforts.


OHS Compliance Briefing: Workplace Violence

Jul
18

OHS Compliance Briefing: Workplace Violence
- adapted from the July 2019 issue of OHS Insider

What Exactly Does Workplace Violence Mean?

Everybody knows that OHS laws require employers to prevent workplace violence. But what’s far less clear is what exactly “workplace violence” means. In fact, the term doesn’t mean exactly the same thing in each jurisdiction. The three variables:

1. What Counts as “Violence”
“Violence” includes actions and threats of physical harm. But it may also include harassment and other forms of “vexatious conduct” that cause or have the potential to cause “psychological” harm. Of course, jurisdictions that limit “violence” to physical dangers also typically have separate OHS protections for harassment. Even so, the distinction is important because measures required for violence are different than those required harassment.

2. Whether Prevention Duties Cover Worker-on-Worker Violence
Most jurisdictions define “violence” as including acts by a “person” that cause or threaten harm to a worker.

3. What a “Workplace” Is
The term “workplace” goes beyond the physical facility or site to any location where a worker engages or is likely to be while engaging in work for the employer, including vehicles and mobile equipment. On the flip side, there are six jurisdictions—MB, NB, NS, SK, NT, NU—where OHS workplace violence duties (or at least some of those duties) apply only to specified high-risk workplaces, including health care, financial, retail, police, etc.

Bottom Line
If, as a business owner, there is a workplace violence prevention program, it is imperative that the definitions of “workplace violence”, “workplace” and “violence” are clearly understood and what the terms mean in each jurisdiction in which the business operates.

FEDERAL
Workplace violence: any action, conduct, threat or gesture towards an employee in their work place that can reasonably be expected to cause harm, injury or illness to that employee
Workplace: any place an employee is engaged in work for employer

SASKATCHEWAN
Violence: attempted, threatened or actual conduct of a person that causes or is likely to cause injury, including any threatening statement or behaviour that gives a worker reasonable cause to believe that the worker is at risk of injury
Place of employment: any plant, (i.e., premises, site, land, mine, water, structure, fixture or equipment employed or used in the carrying on of an occupation) in or on which one or more workers work, usually work or have worked

The Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant is Now Accepting Applications

Jul
11

The Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant helps employers train new or existing employees for jobs that need to be filled. This flexible program is designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, in all industries and regions. Having the right skills helps employees excel and succeed in today’s fast-paced labour market.

The Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant is an employer-driven program that:

  • Helps businesses and non-profit organizations train new or existing employees for available jobs; and
  • Provides more opportunities for unemployed and underemployed workers to receive training.

Through the program, the employer contributes one-third of the training cost, while the federal and provincial governments contribute the remaining two-thirds. Training must be provided by an eligible third-party training institution and must be completed within one calendar year from the start date.

The Ministry of Immigration and Career Training will contact employers within three business days to confirm receipt of applications. The Ministry will evaluate fully completed applications and provide a decision on the application within 20 business days. To find out how the Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant can help your business, visit - www.saskatchewan.ca/business/hire-train-and-manage-employees/apply-for-the-canada-saskatchewan-job-grant

#SlowDown in the #OrangeZone and help keep workers safe

Jul
3

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2019

#SlowDown in the #OrangeZone and help keep workers safe
Police watching for speeders in work zones this month

It’s summer, and that means it’s construction season. The focus of July’s Traffic Safety Spotlight is work zones. Encountering one of the orange zones may result in a bit of a delay while you’re en route to your next fun summer destination, but SGI is reminding drivers to be mindful of workers while travelling through those construction areas – be patient, slow down and stay alert. Always obey traffic signs and directions from any flag person you see.  

“That’s someone’s workplace you’re driving through,” noted Honourable Joe Hargrave, Minister responsible for SGI. “The extra time you might gain by speeding through a work zone just isn’t worth the risk.”

“The best advice is to plan ahead, check in with the Highway Hotline, and allow yourself additional time to get to your destination, safely,” said Honourable Lori Carr, Minister of Highways and Infrastructure.

“Workers and machinery are both very close to traffic in work zones,” said Shantel Lipp, President of the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association.  “Work zones tend to be more congested due to lane reductions, so things can happen fast – which makes any number of speeders in work zones unacceptable.”

“These workers are our friends, neighbours, and family members – it’s important that we do our part to get them home safe,” said Collin Pullar, President of the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association. “Through awareness and education, we can prevent many incidents and close calls in our work zones and help create the safest construction environment in Canada.”

Drivers are required to slow to 60 km/h or the speed that’s posted when passing a highway worker, flag person or highway equipment with warning lights flashing.

Exceeding the 60 km/h speed limit by 20 km/h will cost you $440. If you’re going 40 km/h over the limit, that’s going to cost you $1,008. Plus, you’ll lose at least three Safe Driver Recognition points on your licence, which can lead to further financial penalties.

The fines are significant for a reason. Reducing your speed can help avoid a close call, or something much worse. Give yourself more time to react to a potential collision and reduce your speed.

Police will be keeping an eye on work zones in July, and some work zones will be monitored by photo radar. In 2018, there were nearly 1,500* convictions for speeding in work zones. That’s nearly 1,500 times drivers ignored reduced speed limits and put workers’ lives at risk.

Drivers can follow these tips to keep our roads safe:

  • Always give the road your full attention, but it’s especially important in work zones. Slow down and expect the unexpected.
  • When planning your trip, expect delays – leave earlier, and be patient.
  • Keep a safe following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Obey posted signs and flag persons. You may not see workers right away, and even if they aren’t there work zones have other safety hazards to keep in mind.
  • When a lane is closed in a work zone, embrace the zipper merge. It makes traffic flow more quickly and efficiently.


Both road safety and workplace safety are priorities for SGI. We support Safe Saskatchewan’s Mission: Zero. The only acceptable number of preventable injuries in Saskatchewan is zero. It’s up to all of us, on the road and off, to prevent injuries.

*Based on preliminary data

-30-

Media inquiries

Tyler McMurchy
Manager, Media Relations
Saskatchewan Government Insurance
306-751-1837
306-535-6207 (cell)
tmcmurchy@sgi.sk.ca

 

SCSA Named Construction Safety Experts of the Year by Build Magazine

Jul
1

A Message for Leaders on Building Diverse and Inclusive Work-sites and Projects

Jun
27

Any type of infrastructure construction project requires not only the correct permits from officials, but also a social license to operate in order to acquire community acceptance. With the increase in economic development projects both on and off reserve in Saskatchewan, that means understanding each community’s unique culture, and in some cases, building trust and coming to a common understanding of project impacts and benefits socially, economically and environmentally.

According to Derek Hoffman, a partner at Miller Thomson law firm in Saskatoon, “you have to be aware that what your cultural norms and practices are may not be the same in Aboriginal communities.” In a presentation to business leaders at the Construction Law Conference in April 2018, Hoffman shared his insight on Aboriginal engagement:

Know and Understand What is Appropriate Engagement

Hoffman recommends conducting research at the planning stages of a project, this can include asking for guidance and observing how things are done. Obtaining the answers to questions like, “will there be opening prayers or closing prayers for meetings?” or “will a gift of tobacco be expected?” are key to understanding cultural norms specific to a community.

Acceptance; however, goes beyond solely respecting the Indigenous customs and culture – it’s important to engage with the community to ensure that inclusion is evident. Attending and sponsoring community events is one way Hoffman suggests engaging a community, but cautions against failing to consider other options and executing an event that is too extravagant. “Be careful not to be over the top about it because that can draw an adverse reaction. Don’t be the centre of attention,” he adds.

Obtain Leadership Buy-In

The ultimate goal of ‘social license to operate’ is to gain community support, or at the very least, non-opposition. The first step in gaining community support has to take the form of a commitment from the leadership that they won’t oppose the proposed development plan or construction project. It’s a good idea for a company’s senior leadership to meet with the community’s leadership and be prepared to track changes in leadership and other pertinent information.

Relationship Building

“Relationship building and trust requires buy-in from your leadership down to your front-line people, and unfortunately all it takes is one off-the-cuff remark from someone that’s not aligned with those values to destroy a lot of the time and effort that’s been invested in establishing a relationship and open communication channels,” says Hoffman, “With this in mind, it’s important to check your organization’s internal capacities. Do your leadership team and staff have cultural sensitivity training? Is there a clear understanding of communication protocol - who talks to whom, for example?”

Another component of creating a solid foundation for trust in the community is the commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce. Hoffman suggests that part of the engagement efforts may include identifying Indigenous employment or subcontractor opportunities or working with training and apprenticeship organizations to develop the skills required for a particular project.

From the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, “The importance of economic development to the wellbeing of First Nations in Saskatchewan and contribution to the health and resiliency of Saskatchewan’s economy cannot be understated. The entrepreneurial spirit of First Nations in Saskatchewan is acknowledged as a critical engine of economic growth, innovation and diversification in our province.”

SCSA proud to sponsor First-Ever Indigenous Solar PV Certification Course in Saskatchewan

Jun
20

Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 20, 2019

School’s In For Summer:  the George Gordon First Nation Partners With Mo’ Solar Company to Offer First-Ever Indigenous Solar PV Certification Course in Saskatchewan

REGINA, SK, June 20, 2019 – While many youth across the Province are gearing up for summer holidays, an eager group of young indigenous people are busy ‘hitting the books’ this week in Regina. 

In partnership with the Canadian Solar Institute, Mo’ Solar Company and George Gordon Developments Ltd. (the business development arm for George Gordon First Nation) are proud to launch a first-of-its-kind program offering in Saskatchewan – #MPoweredByMo.  The program targets First Nation participants to build technical skills and knowledge in renewable energy.

The unique one-week, hands-on program immerses students in the science and technology of solar photovoltaics; electricity basics; proper system sizing, design and installation techniques; commissioning and construction safety.  Strategic delivery partners were also engaged to provide expertise in areas such as renewable energy-specific rules (section 64) of the Canadian Electrical Code, fall protection and the importance of PPE.  Course graduates will emerge as competent and CSA-accredited solar PV design & installation professionals.  Most importantly, they will have the confidence and connections to be successful in the growing renewable energy sector.

“The students have been working very hard, and are asking some excellent questions.  They seem to be catching on very quickly, and bring a ton of enthusiasm to the classroom each day,” said Mario Borsato, NABCEP-certified head instructor and founder of the Canadian Solar Institute.  “I’ve been in this industry for a decade now, and I’m still learning every day.”

Last month, SaskPower and First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) signed an historic First Nations Opportunity Agreement for developing 20 megawatts (MW) of new utility-scale solar generation projects.  The agreement is estimated to be worth $85 million over the course of 20 years, and will undoubtedly create many employment opportunities in the construction and maintenance of the facilities.

“We see this training as a great opportunity for our people to gain employment in the construction of these future solar projects.  George Gordon First Nation has a strategic plan for the future, and one of the core pillars is renewable energy and self-sufficiency,” said Glen Pratt, CEO of George Gordon Developments Ltd.

The idea for the specialized course came as a result of an observation by Mo’ Solar Company’s founder & CEO, Bradyn Parisian, who spent nearly half a decade working for SaskPower in key accounts, renewables and energy conservation.

“I simply noticed that there weren’t any quality, hands-on training programs within our Provincial borders.  If a person wants to gain a certification, you must to travel to Alberta or Manitoba.  A few different online offerings are available, but I’ve personally found this model isn’t the best for learning practical skills or getting your hands on actual solar PV components and gaining experience with installs,” said Parisian, who is also a sessional university business instructor with First Nations University of Canada and the University of Regina.  “Furthermore, there is nothing specific to Indigenous communities, which face a number of unique circumstances as opposed to non-indigenous communities.  With the growing number of opportunities for First Nations & Métis in renewable energy – it just clicked.  We had to make the course a reality.”

In just its first offering, it is also seeing a great deal of success. George Gordon Developments informs that employers in the solar installation sector are very interested in its first crop of graduates.  The majority of the students have already received assurances of employment post-graduation, which will be held on Friday June 21 (National Indigenous Peoples Day) at 12pm at the George Gordon First Nation Business Centre in Regina (2704 – 10th Avenue).  MEDIA ARE INVITED TO ATTEND THIS EVENT.

About Mo’ Solar Company

Mo’ Solar Company is a 100% Sask-owned and operated EPC solar photovoltaic system design and installation contractor based in Regina, SK.  The company serves residential, commercial and ag clients across southern Saskatchewan.

About George Gordon Developments Ltd.

GGDL has been the economic development arm of the George Gordon First Nation since 2011, and is headquartered in Punnichy, SK.

 

- 30 -

For more information, please contact:

Bradyn Parisian, Founder & CEO

Mo’ Solar Company

Telephone: 306.580.1469

Email: info@mosolar.ca

 

OHS Compliance Legal Briefing: Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC)

Jun
12

OHS Compliance Legal Briefing: Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC)
- adapted from the May 2019 issue of OHS Insider

Although workplace safety committees are found at work sites across the world, Canada is one of the few places where they’re mandatory. Reason: In most industrialized countries, almost all responsibility for workplace health and safety falls on the employer. But Canadian OHS laws are based on the Internal Responsibility System (IRS) theory in which keeping the workplace safe is a shared responsibility among not only employers but also workers, supervisors and other stakeholders.

When is a JHSC or Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Committee Required?

An employer must establish an OHS committee at any workplace [by Saskatchewan law, where 10 or more] workers are regularly employed. For construction sites, the need for an OHS committee is determined not by simply the number of workers but also whether the project is expected to last at least 90 days.

Who Creates an OHS Committee?

In most cases, the employer is responsible for establishing an OHS committee at its workplace. Exception: At construction projects where workers of 2 or more employers work, the OHS committee must be established by the employer designated as constructor (aka, primary or general contractor).

How an OHS Committee Is Created?

The first step is to select the worker and management members and have each group choose one of their number to serve as co-chair. Once the members and co-chairs are in place, the OHS committee holds its first meeting at which members adopt a document called the Terms of Reference or Rules of Procedure setting out the OHS committee’s purpose and operating procedures, including the OHS committee’s goals and functions; the roles, responsibilities and term lengths of individual members and co-chairs; and how meetings will be run and how often they’ll be held; etc. In Saskatchewan, the frequency of meetings is set out as follows:

41(1) Subject to subsection (2), a committee shall:
(a) hold its first meeting within two weeks after being established;
(b) hold three subsequent meetings at intervals not exceeding one month; and
(c) after that, hold regular meetings at intervals not exceeding three months

How Committee Members Designated?

39(1) An employer or contractor who is required to establish a committee shall:
(a) in designating the members:
(ii) ensure that there is a sufficient number of members representing workers on the committee to equitably represent groups of workers who have substantially different occupational health and safety concerns;

How Long Can OHS Committee Members Serve?

In Saskatchewan, the term of an OHS committee member can be up to 3 years and the member can be re-elected.

What are the Core Functions of the OHS Committee?

Core OHS committee functions under OHS laws include participating in workplace hazard identification and assessment; consulting in the development and review of required OHS programs and policies; helping to create worker training and education programs; holding and documenting regular and special meetings; recommending health and safety measures to the employer/constructor; helping to resolve worker health and safety complaints.

To find out when the next SCSA Occupational Health Committee (OHC) Training Level 1 course is being offered, click here.

SCSA Participates in Second Annual Cade Sprackman Safety Day

Jun
5

For Immediate Release
June 5, 2019
Hudson Bay, SK - Cade Sprackman Safety Day in Hudson Bay

Cade Sprackman
Photo courtesy of Michelle Sprackman

Today, the Saskatchewan Safety Council is hosting the second annual ‘Cade Sprackman Safety Day’ at Hudson Bay Community School.

Students participating in this one-day event have previously completed online safety education through the Career Safety Education program and will further expand their knowledge by learning about Fall Protection and Fire Safety from the Saskatchewan Safety Council, Lockout and Control of Hazardous Energy with Weyerhaeuser, and Eye Protection, Ladder Safety, Hazard Recognition and Head Protection from Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA).

As an additional sponsorship, Weyerhaeuser will also provide a BBQ lunch for the entire Hudson Bay Community School.

On January 27th, 2015, Cade Sprackman was killed at his workplace. Michelle, Cade’s mom, said, “I remember him and I talking about what sort of work he would be doing. I asked him about safety and he assured me it was safe. I will never forget the night the RCMP came to the door with news that Cade had died. All they could tell me was that it was an industrial accident that had happened at work. They knew no details.”

Michelle has advocated for youth safety in the workplace and supports Career Safety Education for youth. “Career safety education is so vitally important. Cade naively saw his workplace as safe as he had nothing to compare it to. His employer told him it was safe and so he believed it. We all think that someone has our back; that systems are in place to keep us safe. Systems are only as good as the people behind them and people are fallible. Just like we have to be defensive drivers today, we have to be defensive on the worksite as well.”
Cade, who was raised and educated in Hudson Bay, was creative and imaginative and loved the arts as well as gaming and cinema. He aspired one day to work in the arts as a cinema director.

A video on Cade's story can be viewed on YouTube.

Career Safety Education encourages the development of awareness, attitudes and habits which result in a culture of safety affecting both workplace and home life. Career Safety Education is the first program of its kind in North America, providing universal access to safety training to all youth in Saskatchewan. Thanks to generous partners, the training is completely FREE for youth between 14 and 21 years of age.

Career Safety Education is comprised of Young Worker’s Readiness Certificate Course (YWRCC), Mental Health - Wellness Strategies, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), and an elective from the following: Agriculture: Online Agriculture Training System (OATS), Heavy Construction Roadbuilders: Roadbuilders Safety Training System (RSTS), Trades and Building Construction: Safety Construction Orientation Training (SCOT), and Healthcare: Workplace Assessment and Violence Education (WAVE).

Amanda LePine, Community Relations Coordinator, at the Saskatchewan Safety Council is grateful that the Sprackman Family is sharing their story. She comments that “Cade Sprackman had a vision and dreams to do what he loved. Parents, youth and employers need to hear his story and work to promote safety for youth while at work. We are honoured to be a part of the Cade Sprackman Safety Day and thankful for the support of partners and sponsors. Hopefully hearing Cade’s story will help to prevent youth injuries and fatalities in the workplace.”

The Cade Sprackman Safety Day is an annual event. To be involved, contact Amanda LePine at 306-757-3197. 

Cade Sprackman Safety Day Schedule

9:00 AM: Weyerhaeuser - Presentation to Hudson Bay Community School

9:25 AM: Opening Remarks - Saskatchewan Safety Counci

9:45 AM: Fall Protection - with demonstration - Saskatchewan Safety Council

10:20 AM: Lockout and Control of Hazardous Energy - Weyerhaeuser

11:10 AM: Break

11:15 AM: Eye Protection / Ladder Safety / Hazard Recognition –  SCS

12:16 PM: Lunch Break – BBQ Sponsored by Weyerhaeuse

1:10 PM: Fire Safety with short Intro to Fire Extinguishers - Saskatchewan Safety Counci

2:10 PM: Break

2:20 PM: Head Protection Presentation - SCSA

3:05 PM: Thank You and Closing Remarks

ABOUT THE SASKATCHEWAN SAFETY COUNCIL 
Since 1955, the Saskatchewan Safety Council, a non-profit registered charity, has been dedicated to the prevention of injury in Saskatchewan . . . at home, at play, and at work.

Funded through donations, membership contributions, sponsorships, grants, and the distribution of its safety programs and materials, the revenues generated by the Safety Council are invested within the province of Saskatchewan to further promote safety.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Amanda LePine
Community Relations Coordinator
Saskatchewan Safety Council
445 Hoffer Drive, Regina SK
alepine@sasksafety.org
306-757-3197

Health and Safety Administrator (HSA) Certification

May
30

The SCSA is proud to congratulate Jamie Sawatsky, Administrative Clerk, on achieving her Health and Safety Administrator (HSA) certification. Last year, the SCSA issued 32 HSA certifications and there are currently 155 participants registered in the program. 

When asked why she pursued certification, Sawatsky explained how she wanted to gain the knowledge needed to better assist customers. "They rely on us at the SCSA to point them in the right direction. I feel it is crucial to have a good understanding of the information they need."

The objective of the Health and Safety Administrator (HSA) program is to provide formal training for an administrator of a health and safety program, who does not possess a minimum of three years construction field experience. Certification indicates to employers that the participant has knowledge in various health and safety management skills and principles. This knowledge positions the individual to provide support in the administration of a company’s health and safety program.

For more information on the program requirements and registration process, please visit: www.scsaonline.ca/programs/hsa 

Companies Achieve Certification Under New SECOR® Program Requirements

May
29

This spring, James Donnelly, owner of Over the Top Roofing and Exteriors, and Brendan Lowndes, owner of Brendan’s Roof Repair, were among the first companies to achieve Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (SECOR®) certification under the SCSA’s new SECOR program requirements.

Although smaller in company size, Donnelly and Lowndes find themselves working regularly on bigger jobs, like the current one they are working on together in Regina. The owners took some time out of their day to share a bit about why they decided to pursue SECOR certification and how it has helped them better manage their companies.

“Most of the major contractors, such as the City of Regina, PCL, and Graham Construction, now require SECOR or COR certification to bid on jobs. We were already doing everything safely on site, except for the documentation. Now it shows that we are actually being safe, not just saying we are,” said Donnelly. 

Hazard assessments, safe work practices, training records, and inspection reports are just a few examples of some of the supporting safety documentation required for establishing and maintaining a verifiable safety management system.

“It’s great to have general guidelines of what we need for a safety program – we didn’t have them before and we needed that to ensure our crews go home safely,” added Lowndes.

There are currently more than 80 SCSA member companies seeking SECOR certification. The industry-supported changes to the SECOR certification process impact training and audit requirements as well as the audit process itself.

While continuing to ensure that the program is feasible for smaller companies, these changes serve to strengthen the program integrity of SECOR; holding it to a very similar standard as the nationally-recognized COR program. As an intended benefit, SECOR companies will have the ability to more smoothly transition to the COR program as required or requested.

For more information, please visit www.scsaonline.ca/programs/secor or email scsaprograminfo@scsaonline.ca

Spring 2019 SCSA Safety Advocate

May
28

The SCSA recently released its Spring 2019 Safety Advocate publication, which highlights all of the achievements of the SCSA and its dedicated members in constructing safety leadership. For more information on this publication and to view past issues, please visit: www.scsaonline.ca/news/publications/scsa-safety-advocate-publication

 

Due Diligence

May
9

At the 2019 Constructing Safety Leadership Conference held in Saskatoon on April 10, Amy Groothuis Partner, Miller Thomson LLP, discussed due diligence in a session on Emerging Legal Trends. The following, adapted from the March 2019 issue of OHS Insider, provides an overview of the key points discussed.

There are two ways of achieving a successful outcome at trial if charged with an OHS violation. The first is by demonstrating that there was no violation; and the second is by using the due diligence defence. Most due diligence litigation is about what “reasonable steps” were taken. A business owner is not required to prevent all incidents, injuries and violations, only the ones that should have reasonably been foreseen. Following are seven common arguments that almost never work at trial -

1. “It Wasn’t Foreseeable Because It Never Happened Before”

There’s no such thing as a “free first bite.” If a hazard is foreseeable, the fact that it never happened before is no defence.

2. “We Had a Safety Policy but They Didn’t Follow It”

Simply having a safety policy or procedure isn’t enough if that policy or procedure is:

  • Not in writing;
  • Unclear;
  • Not effectively explained to workers; and/or
  • Routinely ignored or inadequately enforced.

3. “It Was the Worker’s Fault”

The possibility of workers’ messing up or failing to use required safety measures is a foreseeable risk that must be taken into account via a robust Safety Management System.

4. “The Victim Was Drunk/High”

Evidence of a victim’s impairment doesn’t automatically negate liability. A business owner still has to demonstrate that all reasonable steps to protect the victim were taken.

5. “It Was the Subcontractor’s Fault”

Prime contractors in charge of safety and OHS compliance at multi-employer sites can’t blame their contractors and subcontractors for failing to control hazards on the site. The prime contractor is ultimately responsible for having an adequate system in place to oversee and supervise the contractors and subcontractors at the site.

6. “Blame It on Human Error”

News flash: Human beings make mistakes. Exercising due diligence is about recognizing this fact and taking reasonable steps to prevent the mistakes that are foreseeable.

7. “Our Safety Procedures Are First Rate”

Implementing good safety procedures, training, supervision and other administrative measures aren’t enough if the OHS regulations require the use of engineering and physical controls to manage a hazard. While prime contractors have primary they don’t have exclusive responsibility for safety at a multi-employer site. Contractors and subcontractors at the site also have basic OHS responsibilities to protect their own workers.

NCSO™ GRANDFATHER OF EXPERIENCE DEADLINE AUGUST 31, 2019

May
2

National Construction Safety Officers (NCSO™) certified prior to August 30, 2017 wishing to write the NCSO National Exam have until August 31, 2019 to have their experience criteria grandfathered and achieve certification. After this date, those wishing to write the exam will have to re-apply to the program and submit their experience letters for acceptance based on the new NCSO National Standard requirements.  

Note: The new standard requires three years' construction field experience obtained in the last 10 years

For more information, please email Program Services.

To learn more about the NCSO program, please visit: www.scsaonline.ca/programs/ncso

All Hands In: A Hand Health & Safety Awareness Initiative

Apr
30

A case can be made for hands being ranked as the most valuable and widely used tools in the workplace. Hands are relied on to perform some of the simplest and even the most difficult of tasks. They are used every day to get dressed, drive, type, text, and even play with kids and pets. The temporary and permanent inability to use one or both hands can make day-to-day activities more challenging.

That’s why it is critical that this part of the body be protected from serious injury on the job.

According to Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board claims made in 2017, hand injuries accounted for nearly 30 percent of all injuries in the construction industry.

“Even though our hands are extremely valuable tools, we still see workers  that think cuts are just part of the job or complain that they can’t do their job properly when they have  safety gloves on,” said Sebastian Marktanner, certified National Construction Safety Officer and Senior Safety Advisor with the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA).

“When hand protection is properly selected and used, it should not hinder how you perform a task, and if it does cause an inconvenience, this is minor compared to loss of fingers or permanent nerve damage,” added Marktanner. 

Selecting the proper glove is essential in protecting these tools from on-the-job hazards. The wrong gloves risk injury to the worker and a loss of productivity.

It is important to remember that no single glove will provide protection against every hazard or substance.

During the glove-selection process, identify key elements that are required to perform the job safely:

  • Are chemical hazards present? Do the chemical hazards occur in liquid, gas, powder or vapour form? Will workers’ hands be subject to light splashes or total immersion?
  • Are abrasions and punctures from sharp objects a problem? Many gloves are designed to protect from slashes caused by sharp objects, but few provide high levels of puncture resistance from objects such as the ragged edges of a piece of metal or glass. Will the abrasions or punctures occur to the palm, top of the hand, or both?
  • Is a secure grip vital to the application? When workers cannot grasp objects securely, especially those that are wet or oily, the objects may slide through their hands and result in injuries or damaged products;
  • Is dexterity important? Working at high speeds require having the dexterity and tactile sensitivity to handle small parts or objects quickly;
  • Is protection or dexterity the priority? Thinner-gauge gloves offer more dexterity; heavier-gauge gloves offer greater hand protection;
  • Are the gloves properly sized for individual workers? Gloves that are too large will slide around on the hands, won't provide protection where it is needed, and could become caught in machinery or moving parts. Gloves that are too snug can decrease a worker's dexterity and may become so uncomfortable that workers will remove them;
  • Will the gloves be required to offer protection from heat or cold temperatures? Insulated gloves should be selected to protect from extreme temperatures;
  • Will the worker be wearing the gloves for a few minutes at a time or all day? Comfort is important for longer wear.

Several types of gloves are available, following are a few examples:

  • Electrical insulation gloves are designed to protect employees when working with exposed energized conductors;
  • Leather gloves are designed for welding or for other general purposes; 
  • Cut-resistant gloves, depending on the level of hazard and the type of work environment, include stainless steel mesh, kevlar fabric, and other materials for lighter weight cut resistance; and
  • Chemical resistant gloves are made from many different materials and include different cuffs, lengths and thicknesses. Heat/cold resistant gloves carry many general purposes and will provide heat/cold protection.

View/Download Hand Protection Tool Box Talk (PDF)

May has been designated Hand Protection Month. The SCSA's Safety Advisors will be distributing 500 pairs of cut resistant safety gloves to a select number of construction companies through a partnership with WorkSafe Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan WCB AGM and 2018 Annual Report

Apr
29

The Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) has released its 2019 AGM dates in Regina and Saskatoon as well as its 2018 Annual Report. 

Sask WCB 2019 Annual General Meetings will be:

  • Wednesday, May 1, Regina at Queensbury Centre (Salon 3)
  • Thursday, May 2, Saskatoon at Prairieland Park (Terrace Room)
  • Webinar starting live on May 1 at 9:00 a.m. Registration is required.

For a detailed agenda and other information on the AGM, visit www.wcbsask.com/agm2019/

View the Sask WCB 2018 Annual Report

To view all other Sask WCB corporate plans and reports, visit: www.wcbsask.com/about-wcb/what-we-do/corporate-plans-annual-reports/

Saskatchewan WCB Board Chair Announces new Chief Executive Officer

Apr
26

The Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) recently announced that Phil Germain, their VP of Prevention and Employer Services, has been appointed as the new CEO of the Sask WCB and will officially take on CEO duties on May 31, 2019. Read the full update from WCB Chairperson, Gord Dobrowolsky, below:

Following the retirement announcement of Peter Federko, the WCB Board has completed an exhaustive search for our new CEO and are pleased to announce that Phil Germain has been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board.

Mr. Germain has been with the WCB for almost 15 years in leadership roles for the majority of his tenure.  Throughout his time here, he has proven his leadership abilities, demonstrated a life-long commitment to safety and prevention both locally and internationally, and has an in-depth knowledge of the compensation system at a global level. Added to that is his broad capacity and understanding of the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board. 

Mr. Germain holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Alberta and a professional designation from the Canadian Registered Safety Professional. His successful career path as a health and safety professional, manager and executive have positioned him with extensive abilities to lead our organization. 

After moving to Saskatchewan in 1995 to work for the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association, Mr. Germain rose in his safety career from his start as the Manager of the Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada Safety Program in 1998, Executive Director of Prevention at the Saskatchewan WCB in 2005 and Vice-President of Prevention and Employer Services in 2012.  In 2014, he was awarded Saskatchewan Safety Professional of the Year.

Mr. Federko will continue to serve as CEO until his official retirement date of May 31st, at which time Mr. Germain will officially take on the duties of CEO.  As a Board we want to again express our deepest appreciation to Mr. Federko for the dedication, enthusiasm and the motivation he has given the WCB over the past 25 years.

We look forward to what the future holds under our new CEO as the WCB continues to direct the Saskatchewan compensation system and meet the needs of our customers throughout the province.  Please join me in congratulating Mr. Germain in his new appointment as CEO.

Gord Dobrowolsky, Chairperson
Board of Directors
Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board

INDUSTRY LEADERS GATHER FOR CONSTRUCTING SAFETY LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

Apr
25

The second annual SCSA Constructing Safety Leadership Conference, held in conjunction with Sask Construction Week, attracted over 100 industry leaders who gathered at TCU Place in Saskatoon on April 10, 2019.

Thomas Benjoe CEO, FHQ Developments and Bradyn Parisian Owner, Mo’Solar kicked off the day with a session on Safety, Business Culture and Inclusion. This was followed by an industry panel on Safety in Procurement featuring Grant Ring Vice President, SaskPower; Harlan Kennedy Executive Director, Ministry of Central Services; and Jeremy Meinema, Finance & Land Manager, City of Saskatoon, Residential Land Corp. The morning concluded with a session on Emerging Legal Trends with Amy Groothuis Partner, Miller Thompson in conversation with SCSA president, Collin Pullar.

The afternoon featured John Spooner Sr. Vice President, Aon Reed Stenhouse Inc presenting on Contract Surety and Insurance and a General Contractor Panel Discussion with Aaron Yohnke District Manager, PCL Construction and Tom Holfeld District Manager, Graham Construction.

Well-known local radio hosts Jamie Nye of the Green Zone, and Mark Loshack (Shack) of Rock 102, were the MCs and moderators throughout the day, which also featured leadership reflections from guest speakers Bill Chow, president of the SJHL, and Drew Remenda, Sportsnet’s Game Analyst for the Edmonton Oilers and former San Jose Sharks Assistant Coach.

Attendees participated in numerous discussions and networking opportunities throughout the conference and also had a chance to experience the SCSA’s newly-launched Hazard ID VR training tool on location.  

The conference concluded with a special ceremony recognizing the 2019 SCSA’s Health and Safety Administrator (HSA) of the Year Award recipient, Vanessa Andres of Triple A Directional Drilling; and the National Construction Safety Officer (NCSO™) of the Year Award recipient, Jessica Stewart of Alliance Energy Ltd.

WCB releases 2018 operating results

Apr
16

The Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board's (WCB) 2018 Annual Report was tabled at the provincial legislature on April 16, 2019. Read the full media release, below:

News Release
For Immediate Release
April 16, 2019


WCB releases 2018 operating results

  • WCB remains fully funded at 115.2 per cent
  • Workplace Total injury rate increases to 5.44 per 100 workers
  • Time Loss injury rate increases to 1.99 per 100 workers
  • 88 per cent of Saskatchewan employers achieved Mission: Zero

REGINA, SK – The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board’s 2018 Annual Report was tabled in the provincial legislature today. WCB Chairperson Gord Dobrowolsky said the WCB remains fully funded with the ability to cover the future costs of all claims in the system.

“As our labour force has grown over the past decade, workplace safety becomes more and more vital for Saskatchewan as we realize our economic growth potential,” said Dobrowolsky. “It remains important for us to keep a solid funding position to ensure benefits and programs to cover workers who are injured at work. As well, employers can be sure that they will be protected from lawsuits and that they will continue to have an effective, efficient compensation system.”

The WCB’s 2018 results include:

  • The WCB’s Injury Fund is at $399.8 million as of year-end 2018 compared to $555.0 million in 2017. The WCB remains fully funded at 115.2 per cent.
  • Claims costs increased from $230.2 million in 2017 to $278.2 million in 2018. The benefits liabilities increased by $52.5 million or 4.3 per cent in 2018 to $1,280.9 million, mainly due to increased expected health care costs from increasing treatment and utilization levels, an increase in mental health claims and the continuing pattern of claims staying in the system longer.
  • Two primary drivers of compensation costs paid are the duration and number of Time Loss claims. The average duration of Time Loss claims increased to 41.89 days in 2018 compared to 40.16 days in 2017. The WCB accepted 8,151 Time Loss claims in 2018, up from 7,888 claims accepted in 2017.
  • The workplace Total injury rate in 2018 increased to 5.44 per 100 workers, compared to 5.25 per 100 workers in 2017.
  • The average premium rate for 2018 dropped to $1.19, down from $1.24 in 2017. This is the third lowest in Canada.
  • The WCB has premium revenue of $256.5 million in 2018 (up from $255.2 million in 2017) and investment loss of $41.6 million in 2018 (compared to income of $175.8 million in 2017).
  • The WCB covered 410,600 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in 2018 compared to 423,527 FTE workers in 2017.

The past year also marked the third year in a row that 88 per cent of Saskatchewan employers achieved Mission: Zero – zero injuries, zero fatalities, zero suffering.

The workplace Total injury rate per 100 workers increased from 5.25 per 100 workers in 2017 to 5.44 per 100 workers in 2018.

“Despite a slight increase in 2018 workplace injury rates, 88 per cent of employers achieved Mission: Zero for the third year in a row. This wouldn’t have been possible without the health, safety and prevention efforts of people around the province. To me, this shows how much workers, employers and provincial leaders can accomplish when we work together on workplace safety,” said CEO Peter Federko. “However, 22,371 workers were injured in Saskatchewan workplaces in 2018. This demonstrates that we still have work to do. We can’t accomplish this alone. Only together can we make all Saskatchewan workplaces safe.”

The 2018 Saskatchewan Time Loss injury rate increased to 1.99 per 100 workers compared to 1.86 per 100 workers in 2017. The 2017 Time Loss injury rate stayed consistent with the Saskatchewan 2016 rate of 1.86 per 100 workers. At that time, WorkSafe Saskatchewan cautioned that injury rates might increase in 2018, which they have.

“Sadly, we lost 48 individuals in workplace fatalities last year – 20 from occupational disease and 28 from traumatic events,” said Federko. “Evidence from the International Social Security Association indicates that a focus on serious injuries and fatalities should improve the overall level of safety in the province. We will continue to focus on our serious injury and fatality initiative as a top priority in 2019.”

The WCB will provide details of its 2018 performance at the AGM scheduled for Regina on May 1 and Saskatoon on May 2.

-30-

Media Contact:

Carolyn Van der Veen - WCB Director, Communications
cvanderveen@wcbsask.com

 

The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board is a provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors and is funded by employers. Saskatchewan’s workers’ compensation system was adopted in 1930. At that time, the Workmen’s Compensation Act made into law what is known as the historic compromise: employers became collectively liable for workers’ compensation costs and, in return, workers waived their right to sue for work injury. Visit www.wcbsask.com for more detail on rate setting and other WCB initiatives.

Mission: Zero is an initiative to eliminate workplace injuries in Saskatchewan. Launched at the WCB’s 2008 Annual General Meeting, the Mission: Zero campaign and programs drive home the impact of work injuries and the importance of workplace safety and injury prevention. The intent behind Mission: Zero is to bring about faster and deeper reductions to the provincial workplace injury rate.

SCSA Named 2019 Paragon Award Finalist

Apr
5

The SCSA was honoured to be recognized as a 2019 Regina & District Chamber of Commerce (R&DCC) Paragon Award finalist in the category of Customer Service Excellence.

It is recognized that, as an industry, progress has been made in reducing injuries/incidents. Recently; however, there has been a flattening of that progress and, in some areas, a disturbing trend is emerging. Telling people how to stay safe isn’t enough to overhaul a culture that has traditionally not valued safety; the SCSA believes that developing leaders who understand why safety is important will.

When employees lead, it sets a powerful example for the business owners, construction workforce, safety organizations, purchasers of construction services, and the general public with whom the organization interacts on a daily basis. The main goals and objectives of developing and maintaining a high level of customer service are closely tied to the SCSA’s business priorities. Member engagement at a level sufficient to effect a behavioural change in attitude toward injury prevention and safety - to transform culture - requires an extraordinary level of customer service.

Some of the reasons for the SCSA’s commitment to superior customer service are that it creates an engaged workforce, fosters a positive work environment, increases member engagement; and the organization is viewed as an employer of choice, a trusted source of information, and business leader in the community.

An outstanding customer service culture based on the association’s values of trust, respect, accountability and integrity creates an engaged workforce and a positive work environment (internal benefits) which translates to increased member engagement and raises the profile of the association as an employer and business of choice (external benefits).

Continually raising the customer service bar upholds the quality of the SCSA programs and services, and in turn, upholds the reputation of the association as an organization that fosters business leadership throughout the province.

The R&DCC awards ceremony, proudly sponsored by the SCSA, took place on April 5, 2019 at the Delta hotel in Regina.  The SCSA would like to congratulate Wallnuts Expressive Catering for being awarded the 2019 Paragon Award for Customer Service Excellence and to all of the other winners and finalists for their contributions to the business community!


 

CONSTRUCTING SAFETY LEADERSHIP CELEBRATED AT 2019 SCSA AGM

Apr
3

The Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) proudly recognized several leaders for their outstanding contributions to the SCSA’s mission of Constructing Safety Leadership at a special awards ceremony held in conjunction with the SCSA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on March 21, 2019 at the Travelodge Hotel in Saskatoon.

Guest speaker, Peter Federko, CEO of the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), opened the day with a presentation on the “Past, Present, and Future” state of injury claims associated with SCSA member companies (any company that pays WCB premiums under the “B” Building Construction WCB premium Rate Codes: B11 Construction Trades, B12 Residential Construction, and B13 Commercial, Industrial Construction).

Federko spoke about the business case for injury reduction and prevention, including the loss in performance and other inefficiencies companies experience as a result, which has been a major area of focus for the SCSA since its inception in 1995; helping companies become higher-performing with the implementation and maintenance of effective safety management systems. Federko also made mention of the slight increase in workplace injuries;  the workplace Total injury rate for 2018 was 5.44 per 100 workers, a 3.5 per cent increase from 2017. 

“Our industry has come a long way in terms of injury reduction and prevention over the years and we applaud the efforts of those who have made commitments to taking methodical steps toward safety,” said SCSA President, Collin Pullar.

“Seeing an uptick in injury rates over the past year is evidence that more needs to be done to ensure safety leadership is top of mind in our workplaces and communities – a challenge that drove the Association to redefine its mission to Constructing Safety Leadership and our vision to the Safest Construction Environment in Canada.

Formal AGM business that followed included adoption of reports and financials presented in the 2018 SCSA Annual Report and a motion to elect members to serve in into new positions 2019 Board of Directors (BOD), including the new Chair, Mark Novecosky of Flynn Group of Companies, and the new Vice-Chair, Keith Bird of RNF Ventures Ltd.

After the AGM portion of the day, the annual SCSA Constructing Safety Leadership Awards and the SCSA Board of Directors Years of Service Recognition ceremony took place to honour individuals, companies, and regional safety committees, for their dedication, outstanding contribution, and commitment to safety, leadership, and the SCSA’s mission of Constructing Safety Leadership and vision of the Safest Construction Environment in Canada.

Asiil Enterprises was the recipient of the 2018 Corporate Leadership in Safety Award, alongside finalists Safe & Sound Exteriors and Silverline Construction Ltd.

Corey Johnson of Flyer Electric Ltd. was the recipient of the 2018 Safety Practitioner Award, alongside finalists Jeff Cochrane of Asiil Enterprises Ltd, and Andrew Eilers of PCL Construction.

The Swift Current Regional Safety Committee (RSC) was the recipient of the 2018 RSC Distinguished Progress Award, alongside finalists from the Regina RSC and Prince Albert RSC. 

The ceremony concluded with Board of Directors Years of Service Recognition presentation. Errol Fisher of North Ridge Development Corporation who served on the board for seven years in various capacities, including Chairperson, received an award his years of service. Milayna Goruick also received a certificate of appreciation for her two years of service to the board, most recently holding the position as a Residential Director.

“We take great pride in honouring these professionals in our industry – their leadership has a measurable impact on business throughout the province by ensuring workers at all levels are thinking seriously about safety, reducing risks and ensuring folks go home safely at the end of the day,” added Pullar.

All award recipients will also be featured in the SCSA Safety Advocate publication and SaskBusiness magazine.

To see photos of all the 2018 Constructing Safety Leadership Award winners and Board of Directors Years of Service Recognition recipients, please visit: scsaonline.ca/safety-awards 

View a full recording of the 2019 AGM, including the 2018 Constructing Safety Leadership Awards and the 2018 Board of Directors Years of Service Recognition ceremony, can be viewed on the 'SCSA Online' YouTube channel!

2019 Constructing Safety Leadership Conference

Apr
2

The SCSA Constructing Safety Leadership Conference program is taking shape with two industry panels and a number of industry experts speaking on topics ranging from Construction Law, Financial Services, Labour Supply, to Safe Working Culture, Inclusion, and Productivity.

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED

PANEL AND GUEST SPEAKER BIOS

Grant Ring
Vice President, Capital Projects and Procurement, SaskPower

Grant Ring was appointed Vice-President, Procurement and Supply Chain in June 2015. At SaskPower, Grant previously held the positions of Vice-President, Business Development; President and Chief Executive Officer of NorthPoint Energy Solutions; and acting Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that, he spent 11 years in various positions at the company. Grant holds a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). He was named a Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants in 2008. In 2007, he completed a Certificate in Executive Coaching, and in 2011, achieved his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is the Chairman of the Power Corporation Superannuation Plan, and a member of the Buffalo Pound Water Board of Directors. In the past, Grant has also held positions as Chair of Financial Executives International Canada and Vice-Chair of the Public Employees Pension Plan (PEPP), as well as serving on other non-profit boards.

 

Harlan Kennedy
Executive Director, Project Management and Delivery, Saskatchewan Ministry of Central Services

Harlan is a Professional Engineer, Certified by PMI as a Project Management Professional in 1999.  He has been managing projects and project managers for over 40 years in the public, private and non-profit sectors.  As the Executive Director for Project Management and Delivery in the Saskatchewan Ministry of Central Services, he supports the work of 14 project managers in facility design and construction, and oversees construction procurement for the Ministry.  He also facilitates courses in project management through the University of Regina.  Harlan and his wife of 42 years live in Regina and have two grown daughters and three grandchildren..

 

Amy Groothuis
Partner, Miller Thomson LLP

Amy Groothuis is a civil litigator with a focus on labour and employment law. She acts for public and private sector employers, and provides proactive, preventive employment advice to clients on their rights and obligations regarding employment standards, occupational health and safety, human rights, and workers’ compensation. She represents management in all manners of labour relation disputes and grievances. Prior to joining Miller Thomson, Amy spent eight years practicing law in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, both as General Counsel to the territorial workers’ compensation board, and in private practice, where she acted on behalf of management in a variety of settings and industries.

 

Aaron Yohnke
District Manager, PCL Construction Management Inc.

As district manager, Aaron is responsible for PCL Construction Management Inc. (Saskatoon) operations in Central and Northern Saskatchewan. For more than 15 years, Aaron has contributed to the success of construction teams and projects in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, and Ontario. He has experience in delivering traditional bid-build, design-build, P3, GMP, and CM-type agreements. Aaron brings a diversified background to his role, having previously held positions as estimator, project manager, special projects manager, construction manager, and operations manager. Aaron’s cross-sector experience covers such areas as health-care, commercial, institutional construction, civil infrastructure, pre-engineered buildings, retail, water treatment, interior renovation, and light industrial, and varies in scope from smaller, unique projects to mega developments. Aaron is Gold Seal certified in project management by the Canadian Construction Association. Born and raised in Saskatoon, Aaron is active in the community, participating in industry and charitable associations. Aaron is passionate about health, safety and the environment as well as generally augmenting the culture that exists across all projects and sites in Saskatchewan.  

 

Bill Chow
President, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL)

Born and raised in Prince Albert and worked with the Prince Albert Police Service for 29 years before retiring as the Administrative NCO. Bill was a scout in the Western Hockey League a number of years before accepting the president position with the SJHL in 2011.  He also served as the Hockey Canada Board -Chairman of Junior Hockey from 2013-2016. Bill is married with two adult children, three grandchildren.

 

Errol Fisher
Vice President of Operations, North Ridge Development Corporation

Errol has an extensive history in the construction industry that started with a summer job working as a carpenter’s helper for a Saskatoon framing company.  In 1981, Errol was inspired to start his own framing company which operated in Saskatoon and surrounding areas, Western Canada, The North West Territories and Korea.  Errol also operated a wood wall panel prefabrication plant in Vancouver. In 1997, Errol accepted an offer to work for North Ridge as a Site Supervisor and oversaw the construction of single-family homes, apartment-style condos and commercial buildings. He was quickly transitioned to the VP of Construction and then to his current position as the VP of Operations. Errol sits on a number of national, provincial and local boards. At the national level he chairs CHBA’s Professional Development Committee, and is one of the founding members of the Net Zero Council. Errol is also heavily involved in the Saskatoon and Region Home Builders’ Association Builder Committee and is the past Chair for the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association. Most recently Errol was honoured as the CHBA 2017 Member of the Year due to his his long-standing contributions to CHBA through his dedication and outstanding service.

Thomas Benjoe
President & CEO for FHQ Developments

Thomas Benjoe is the President & CEO for FHQ Developments and is from the Muscowpetung First Nation. He has a First Nations Business, Economic Development and Governance background from First Nations University of Canada/University of Regina and is a Certified Professional Director.

Thomas is a founding Board of Director’s member for FHQ Developments and served 6 years on the Board. FHQ Developments is the Economic Development Corporation for the File Hill’s Qu’Appelle Tribal Council that manages Partnerships and new Business Ventures on behalf of its Limited Partners, the 11 First Nations of FHQTC. FHQ Developments also provides services to its Limited Partners through Nation Economic Development and Employment & Retention Services.

Thomas currently serves on a number of committees and boards including the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, Innovation Saskatchewan, First Nations Power Authority, First Nations University of Canada Spring Celebration Powwow Committee, Member of Leaders Council at the Hill & Levene Schools of Business, University of Regina, Council for Entrepreneurship Growth (Economic Development Regina) and the FNUniv Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Camp Steering Committee.

Braydn Parisian
Founder & CEO, Mo’ Solar Company Ltd

Bradyn Parisian is a well-respected business and community leader that resides in Regina, SK with his wife and three young children. He is also the President and principal consultant for Vincent Developments Inc., a management consulting company that serves a diverse group of clients across Saskatchewan.

Mr. Parisian is the Past President & Chairman of the Board for Conexus Credit Union; the largest credit union in SK (6th largest in Canada) with nearly $8 billion in assets under management. While sitting on the Conexus board, he gained experience serving on the Audit & Conduct Review, Governance & HR, Compensation and Risk Committees.  Bradyn currently serves as a corporate director on the boards of Cowessess Ventures Ltd., Black Lake Ventures LP, Gabriel Housing Corporation and the First Nations Power Authority.

A proud U of R graduate, Bradyn possesses MBA and Bachelor of Business Administration (Finance) degrees, and is an ICD.D holder.  He has also completed a professional certificate in corporate innovation & entrepreneurship from Stanford University, in addition to executive education programs at Rotman, Queen’s University, the Disney Institute and the Schulich School of Business.

He also serves as a sessional instructor at the University of Regina, and currently teaches business courses at the Paul J. Hill School of Business and First Nations University of Canada.  Mr. Parisian has also established several post-secondary scholarships for Métis students - aimed at supporting future leaders in the fields of business and healthcare.  In his spare time, Bradyn has also devoted a considerable amount of his time towards mentoring youth and coaching minor sports.

 

Tom Holfeld
District Manager, Graham Construction and Engineering Inc.

Born and raised in Yorkton, Tom began working in the construction industry during high school for his father at Logan Stevens Construction.  He started with Graham Construction after graduating from the University of Saskatchewan in 1990 with a degree in civil engineering.  Since then he has worked in various roles and construction sectors throughout Saskatchewan.  Originally hired for the Husky Upgrader Project in Lloydminster, Tom has performed the duties of project coordinator, estimator, project manager, operations manager, and his current position as district manager for Graham’s Saskatoon Buildings division.  Tom’s diverse experience includes working within commercial, civil, water and wastewater treatment, and industrial sectors for over 30 years.  He has served as Director on the Saskatoon Construction Association Board since 2014 and participates actively in industry affairs.  Tom feels strongly about the need for effective health and safety programs and changing the culture of safety within his company, and the industry as a whole. In this role he is responsible for the overall management of Graham’s  commercial and institutional sector business in Central and Northern Saskatchewan.  

John Spooner
Senior Vice President, Aon Reed Stenhouse

John is a Senior Vice-President, Account Executive with Aon Reed Stenhouse Inc. He started his career with Aon Reed Stenhouse in 1985 in our Regina office and has been located in our Saskatoon office since 1990. John has been extensively involved with many of Aon’s key clients including construction industry clients for both insurance and contract bonding. He provides day-to-day servicing, account management and consulting to various successful Saskatchewan-based contractors including General Contractors and large trade contractors, and is the Construction Segment Leader for the Branch.

Along with his construction industry expertise, John is involved with Manufacturing risks and Aviation risks including Canadian Airports Council program for Tier II Airports; Saskatoon and Regina International Airport. He also brings mining/industrial risk experience from prior years of direct involvement with PCS Inc., Cameco Corp., Cigar Lake Mining Corp., Areva and Kalium Chemicals. John is the Canadian liaison for Aon’s global Mosaic Corp. account team handling risk management issues ranging from taxation to Worker’s Compensation to Project Builders Risk.

Jeremy Meinema
Finance & Land Sales Manager, Saskatoon Land

Jeremy is a Chartered Professional Accountant with experience in public accounting, the mining industry, and municipal government.  For the last 8 years he has been the Finance and Sales Manager of Saskatoon Land, the land development arm of the City of Saskatoon, overseeing the accounting as well as policy development around the land development and sales process.  The City of Saskatoon operates one of the largest self-financed municipal land development programs in Canada and continues to play an integral role in providing an adequate supply of serviced land which initiates creativity and innovation in urban design, generating profits for allocation to civic projects and programs, and influence urban growth.

Rawlco Radio Personalities

Jamie Nye The Sports Guy

Saskatchewan’s most listened to sports show, The Green Zone with Jamie Nye is an afternoon drive sports show featuring a team of superstars, who aren’t afraid to share their opinions, and create a great listening experience every afternoon.

Jamie Nye The Sports Guy grew up in Saskatchewan, and knows almost everything about every sport you could possibly imagine. This award winning host/writer bleeds green through and through, and has an unmatched knowledge of the team; earning him respect within the CFL. Speaking on behalf of the fans, his delivery and perspective on the team is unfiltered, unbiased, and always honest. Jamie directs the conversation each day with his team around all the biggest sports stories and non-sports stories of the day, while ensuring each drive home is full of laughs and good times! There’s no better place to hang out after a long day of work than with The Green Zone! And if that isn’t enough, you can head over to the CFL.ca where Jamie is a regular contributor.

Mark Loshack (Shack)

Shack has been with Rawlco Radio for 28 years, 18 of those doing the morning show on Rock 102 in Saskatoon along with mid days on JACK 94.5 in Regina for the past couple years. He and his wife Mona have a 17 year old daughter whose name is Emily. Shack keeps himself busy with cooking. He loves to cook, so much so, that he has his own cooking show on Shaw tv called Cooked with Shack. His other interests are playing music, building and fixing stuff around the house and camping. Oh yeah and taking naps whenever he can.

Drew Remenda

Former NHL assistant coach and celebrated television and radio analyst Drew Remenda joined the NHL on Sportsnet broadcast team as the game analyst for the Edmonton Oilers in August 2014. Prior to signing on with Sportsnet, Remenda spent seven seasons as the television colour analyst for the San Jose Sharks broadcasts on Comcast SportsNet California.

With over 24 years of experience in the NHL and broadcasting, Remenda began his coaching career in 1988 when he served as the assistant coach for the University of Calgary for two seasons and contributed to Canada’s National Team and the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. In 1991, Remenda joined the San Jose Sharks organization as an assistant coach and would go on to spend four seasons with the team. After seven years with the Sharks, Remenda headed north and signed on with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada as an analyst for the 2006-07 season. In addition to his work in television, Remenda also hosted “The Drew Remenda Show” on News Talk 650 CKOM in his hometown of Saskatoon.

Proposed Amendments to OHS Regulations Survey

Apr
1

The Government of Saskatchewan is seeking input on proposed amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 in the area of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as part of a larger interest in identifying areas for harmonization of key standards and with a goal of simplifying regulatory requirements for organizations that work across jurisdictions. In general, these proposals focus on common Canadian Standards Association (CSA) ratings.

While the SCSA is of the opinion that the impact is expected to affect manufacturers and suppliers of PPE, it recognizes that this will also likely impact member companies that work across multiple jurisdictions. The SCSA would like to understand the construction industry leadership perspective on this issue and know if these proposed amendments will have positive, negative or no impact on the businesses in the industry. The SCSA will reflect the perspectives of its membership in any recommendations on this matter. 

To help the SCSA in preparing its response to the Government of Saskatchewan on this issue, please consider participating in this brief seven-question survey. All feedback is welcome and much appreciated.

Copyright 2021 SCSA. All Rights Reserved