Highlights of COCA's 37th Annual General Meeting
COCA's 37th Annual General Meeting was held on February 23, 2012 at the Interior Systems Contractors Association facility in Woodbridge and almost 50 people representing 21 of our 30 member associations were present.
One of the highlights of the event was a keynote address by George Gritziotis, Ontario's recently appointed Chief Prevention Officer and Associate Deputy Minister of Labour. Speaking passionately about the need to improve the performance of the Province's occupational health and safety system, Gritziotis highlighted the review conducted by Tony Dean and his Expert Panel in 2010 and outlined his ambitious plans to implement the recommendations contained in Dean's report, of which his appointment was one.
In addition to the usual AGM items, such as the approval of the audited financial statements, the appointments of the auditors for the 2011/2012 year and the approval of the 2011/2012 budget, the Members approved an amendment to the bylaws that authorizes the Board of Directors to appoint up to four additional individuals (in addition to those nominated by member associations and elected by the membership) to serve as members of the Board of Directors at Large. This allows the Board to fill any gaps in skills and competencies necessary on a high performance Board of Directors.
The the membership elected their Board of Directors
for 2012/2012. The truly superior quality of this new governance team bodes well for our provincial construction federation in the year ahead.
Following the AGM, the newly elected Board of Directors met and elected their Executive Committee
. This high powered group of experienced hands will provide strong leadership to the Board and ongoing guidance to COCA staff.
The AGM was another big success for COCA and special thanks are owed to the Interior Systems Contractors Association for the use of their splendid facility and everyone who participated.
Construction fatalities and critical injuries rates so far tracking better than 2011
Preliminary data from the Ontario Ministry of Labour is showing that for the first two months of 2012 as of February 29th, the construction industry is showing improved occupational health and safety performance over the same period last year.
For the period January 1 through February 29, 2012 the industry registered three fatalities and 16 critical injuries versus 4 fatalities and 17 critical injuries during the same period in 2011.
Construction's experience for the month of February saw two fatalities. The first involved a worker in the commercial sector falling through a skylight and the second in the residential sector involving a worker being crushed by a crane.
There were also nine critical injuries for the month. Seven of these incidents were falls with six involving multi-levels and two resulting from slips. One critical injury was the result of a worker being struck by equipment or material. These critical injuries took place across the residential, hydro electric power and industrial construction sectors with the sectors experiencing six, one and two incidents respectively.
While marking a modest statistical improvement, these incidents highlight the industry's chronic inability to make solid improvements reducing workplace injuries and deaths from slips, falls and strikes or crushes by equipment or materials. With changes to Ontario's prevention system close to being ready to "go live" with the transition of authority from the WSIB to the Ministry of Labour, it is incumbent upon all actors within each sector of Class G to be aware of the situations within their scope of work that can represent potential hazards that can lead to injury or death and take steps to minimize them for everyone's safety.
MoL Construction Sector Safety Blitz Underway
The Ministry of Labour is presently undertaking its first sector-specific trades safety blitz. Throughout the month inspectors will be visiting projects involving trades of the low and high rise formwork, exterior finishing, built-up roofing and masonry sectors.
Focusing its resources, the Ministry's new approach is driven by accident and injury record data from the last five years. The sectors targeted have had the highest rates of incidents of worker injuries.
Recognizing that Ontario's construction industry has made significant improvements to worker safety, particularly over the last five years, even in those sectors targeted by the current blitz, Ministry officials are seeking to achieve lasting changes in workers safety with these new targeted blitzes.
College of Trades launches public consultation on Proposed Regulatory Provisions
The Ontario College of Trades, established to regulate all approved trades in Ontario and to modernize the provincial apprenticeship and skilled trades system has launched a public consultation.
The College is seeking input on the proposed regulatory provisions pertaining to:
- Classes of membership with the College
- Requirements for obtaining and maintaining registration with the College, and
- The terms, conditions and limitations on statements of membership and certificates issued by the College to its members
The consultation document and other supporting materials for this process can be found on COCA's website at www.coca.on.ca
All consultation submissions received by the College will be reviewed and considered as the proposed regulations are finalized. All submissions will be posted to the College's website.
Those with questions about the public consultation process can contact the College of Trades at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 647-847-3000 or toll free at 1-855-299-0028.
January building intentions get 2012 off to a soft start
National building permit data for January saw the total value of project intentions for both ICI and residential sectors fall a combined 12.3% from December to $6 billion. the national ICI sector was off 23.1% to a value of $1.81 billion, while national residential permits fell 6.6% to $4.19 billion.
The national ICI sector is seeing its project intentions head into a statistical trough as permit values have been heading lower since showing some strength last autumn. Alll three sectors were lower for the start of the year.
Commercial permits were down 22.5% from December to a value of $1.2 billion after seeing somewhat of an uptick late last year. While the decline was driven primarily by Alberta, six other provinces also registered lower intentions. The institutional sector was of for a third straight month, down 27.9% from December to $309 million in permits, marking their lowest point since January 2005. This was largely driven by fewer education projects in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia and medical facilities in Quebec and British Columbia. Industrial intentions also fell for their third straight month, down 20.1% to $274 million in permits, led by lower demand for utilities building in Ontario and manufacturing facilities in Quebec and Ontario.
Ontario fared little better with an overall 10.3% decrease in project intentions to $2.53 billion. The provincial ICI sector came in 8.8% lower from December with permits valued at just under $729 million. Both industrial and institutional sectors were down while the commercial sector saw a modest increase.
Provincial industrial permits values for January totalled $116.3 million, down 31.4% from the previous month. January permits values for commercial projects rose to $499.4 million, up 5.8% from $471.9 million in December. Institutional project intentions were off 28.3% from December to $113.1 million.
Ontario's residential sector was down 10.9% in January with project intentions coming in at almost $1.8 billion compared to December's $2.02 billion.
12th Annual OCS State of the Industry & Outlook Conference 2012
The Ontario Construction Secretariat convened its 12th Annual State of the Industry and Outlook Conderence on March 7, 2012 in Toronto with a record number of industry leaders in attendance to hear the views of a number of high powered and knowledgeable speakers.
The Minister of Economic Development & Innovation, the Honourable Brad Duguid, kicked things off with an optimistic address in which he identified areas the Ontario government has invested in to ensure future economic growth.
The Minister was followed by several speakers:
Mr. Doug Porter, Deputy Chief Economist, BMO Captial Markets
Ms. Katherine Jacobs, Director of Research and Analysis, Ontario Construction Secretariat
Ms. Christine Kaszycki, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ring of Fire Secretariat, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Mr. Michal McCann, GM of Infrastructure Projects, Vale - Base Metals
PDF copies of the presentations are available for download on the OCS web site.
Congratulations to Sean Strickland and his team at OCS for organizing this important industry event.
Highlights of the OGCA's CoR Conference
On Thursday March 8, 2012 the OGCA hosted a conference to promote the Certificate of Recognition (CoR) health and safety standard for the construciton industry, which is already in place in most other provinces in Canada. The IHSA has packaged 19 courses designed to help construction firms prepared for the CoR audit. These courses were piloted last fall and today many of the 40 firms that participated are now audit ready. the CoR audits are performed by members of the IHSA staff who have been specifically trained as CoR auditors.
In highlighting his company's experience with CoR, Mike Archambault Vice President of Safety with Aecon, one of Canada's very largest construction companies, made the following comments:
- The Green Book doesn't drive safety performance in the workplace. 100% compliance with the Green Book will not eliminate incidents
- Safety in an organization must be driven from the top
- Duncan Hawthorne, CEO of Bruce Power often says that a safety culture is what your workers do when you're not there
- Aecon uses the CSAO/IHSA audit instrument to evaluate health and safety management in all jurisdictions in which it operates
- There are three stages to a CoR audit: 1) the document review which confirms the organization's health and safety elements meet CoR standards; 2) interviews with a cross section of management and workers; and 3) site visits, selected at random, to assess the organization's compliance with its own health and safety program
- Following the audit a report is issued which identifies the organizations successes, industry best practices and opportunities for improvement
- Proactive safety management is low cost, focusses on behaviour and puts management in control
- Reactive measures such as first aid, medical aid etc in the event of a critical or a fatality, are reactive, mangement loses control and it is very expensive
- Because CoR focusses on the effective implementation and execution of an organization's health and safety management system it is proactive and it drives the development of a health and safety culture within the organization
Sean Scott, Executive Director of the Manitoba Construction Safety Association and 2012 Chair of the Canadian Federation of Construction Safety Associations has a long history working with CoR. In his presentation he made the following points:
- By 2014 in Manitoba contractors will require CoR to tender for public work; this same approach will likely come to Ontario
- The audit instrument developed for IHSA's CoR should be the updated national audit instrument for CoR
- CoR provides the construction industry with a national standar for health and safety
- CoR verifies the effectiveness of an organization's health and safety mangement system
- Most larger construction companies already have a health ans safety managemetn system in place
- Many large buyers of construction such as provinces, cities and universities are already requiring CoR
- In Manitoba CoR certified firms qualify for a 10% WCB premium reduction
- CoR certified firms have 50% fewer LTIs
- CoR exists in all provinces, provides a national health and safety standard, levels the playing field for health and safety in tendering and is the very highest health and safety accreditation available to contractors
At the end of the morning OGCA sought expressions of interest from members interested in seeking CoR registration. Thanks to the OGCA for inviting the industry to learn more about the CoR program that is working effectively to reduce accidents and injuries on construction sites across Canada.
WSIB 2012 premium rate data by rate group now available
The WSIB has made available 2012 premium rate information. COCA has posted for download on its website
the 12 class G rate group information packages detailing group claim rate performance, frequency, duration, group premium, and injury analyses.
April is Dig Safe Month
The Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance (ORCGA) and its members have designated April as Dig Safe Month in Ontario. This month is dedicated to raising awareness of safe digging practices across the province and to reduce damages to underground plant.
Learn how the MoL investigates incidents
The Ministry of Labour has posted a new podcast "How the MoL investigates incidents". Click here to listen.