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OH&S, Technology

Certification management platform aims to help prevent the ‘fatal four’ on jobsites

Nathan Medcalf
Certification management platform aims to help prevent the ‘fatal four’ on jobsites

To complete construction projects efficiently and safely, key personnel need certain qualifications or certifications to perform activities.

Not just anyone can operate a crane, provide electrical services or drive a truck. General contractors have to ensure all their staff have the correct training and certifications in order to complete the work.

The myComply platform aims to help with this challenge by allowing for the management of employee and subcontractor employee certifications to be accessed digitally.

“Generally, owners/general contractors have developed robust company safety policies and orientation programs to cover basic jobsite safety information,” says Lee Evans, CEO and co-founder of myComply. “The policies and programs are communicated to the subcontractors that they will only send workers who meet the requirements outlined in the safety policy and the subcontractor signs off saying they will comply.”

With myComply, each worker has their own unique myComply profile that they and their company administrator can use to store training cards and certifications digitally. Each training that a worker has can be listed, with the ability to upload a picture of the card for proof, and the app provides automated email reminders that alert when training is nearing expiry or has expired.

This can help alleviate uncertainty with certifications and safety on the jobsite, which can have serious ramifications.

The maximum penalties for a contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) or its regulations are set out in Section 66. A successful prosecution could, for each conviction, result in a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual person and/or up to 12 months imprisonment; or a fine of up to $1.5 million for a corporation.

However, if a general contractor hires subcontractors, and an employee of that subcontractor doesn’t have the necessary qualifications or certifications to perform a job, who is responsible?

According to the Ministry of Labour, both have responsibilities, but the general contractor of the project would be seen as having the overall authority for health and safety matters.

This means the constructor would be responsible for ensuring all employers and workers comply with the OHSA and its prescribed regulations.

This includes ensuring any subcontractors hired by the general contractor have received the appropriate training and certifications needed to perform the work they are contracted to do.

“Up until very recently, general contractors were not held liable for subcontractor incidents if the subcontractor knowingly signed an agreement to adhere to safety policies and violated them,” says Evans. “General contractors are also being cited for subcontractor violations more frequently and this trend will continue.”

Construction sites can be dangerous to workers, with the following injuries topping the list.

  • falls (39.2 per cent)
  • struck by object (8.2 per cent)
  • electrocutions (7.3 per cent)
  • caught in-between (5.1 per cent)

“The construction ‘fatal four’ accounts for approximately 60 per cent of fatalities in construction,” says Evans. “Proper training to eliminate the fatal four on jobsites would dramatically improve safety for all workers in construction.”

myComply came into being when company co-founders Mark Wolff and Greg Reimche, who are also part owners of an industrial electrical contractor in Western Canada, decided to put an end to manual, paper-based processes by building a solution that could improve employee training tracking and overall jobsite safety.

The PCL family of companies hires a lot of subcontractors. In order to better track subcontractor training and compliance, the company adopted myComply.

“We identified a need to improve the process of tracking subcontractor training and compliance to improve safety on the jobsite,” says Jamin Braun, HSE supervisor, PCL. “myComply has assisted management in their effort to audit training for subcontractors on their worksites. Proactively tracking training leads to fewer training gaps on the jobsite. When regulators request training information, it is always easily accessible now using the myComply platform.”

By using myComply, PCL can track all the training completed by their employees and their subcontractors.

According to Braun, the app provides “consistency and streamlines a process that can be implemented on all projects, while building stronger relationships with trade contractors by providing them a free tool to track employee training and submit that information to general contractors on projects.”

“A fully trained workforce is a safer workforce and leads to more projects being on time and on budget,” says Evans.

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