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Industry Special: BCCSA’s 14th annual BC Construction Health and Safety Conference: “by and for the industry”

Industry Special: BCCSA’s 14th annual BC Construction Health and Safety Conference: “by and for the industry”

On October 24th and 25th, 230 participants gathered in Vancouver for the 14th annual BC Construction Health and Safety Conference, presented by the BC Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA).

“Each year, we present conference topics and speakers that are curated for our attendees, based on survey feedback from previous years’ attendees,” says Lui Garcea, director, marketing, partnerships & provincial TCP program with BCCSA. “In keeping with the mandate of our organization itself, we consider the conference to be an event ‘by and for industry.’ The conference must address the issues of interest and importance to the industry, based on their input and feedback. Without them, neither the conference nor the organization exists.”

The annual conference enjoys a wide range of support from industry, government and other stakeholders. This year’s conference included attendance from BC Minister of Labour Harry Bains, as well as Al Johnson, vice-president of Prevention Services at WorkSafeBC, among many local business leaders and other members of the construction industry.

This year’s conference featured three highly-regarded keynote speakers:

  • former NHL goalie Clint Malarchuk, who played in the league between 1981 and 1992 and shared his life story, including his efforts to end the stigma of mental illness and to help others who may suffer as well.
  • former CBC radio and television personality Tod Maffin, who spoke about mental health in the workplace; and
  • motivational speaker Jody Urquhart, who spoke on strategies for safety leaders to influence, energize and engage others.

“The overall goal for our sessions is to provide attendees with immediately useful tools and resources, says Ammar Kavazovic, program manager with BCCSA. “While the presenters strive to offer information in an engaging manner, their content is always technical and relevant. While there was no particular theme to this year’s two-day conference, mental health was one of the more prominent topics presented, as it was discussed by all three keynote speakers.”

Subjects of other presentations included:

  • Practical strategies to improve emotional intelligence and leverage it to build leadership skills.
  • Effective approaches to address mental health stigma in the workplace and how to adapt to the evolving technological landscape.
  • A recent UBC study on the use of dust-extraction vacuums in the BC Construction Industry.
  • The new made-in-British Columbia Builders Code initiative.
  • Criminal prosecution in workplace incidents and how to effectively demonstrate due diligence.
  • How to build a framework to regulate the health and safety profession under law in BC.
  • How to conduct more effective safety inspections.
  • How to convert theory into practice by utilizing primary tools to drive organizational change using “Safety 2” concepts.

A busy trade-show floor also provided attendees with access to a wide range of products, services, programs, educational resources and association information.

This year, conference attendees again provided generous input on the topics and types of presentations they would like to see at next year’s BCCSA conference.

“We’re always delighted to receive that feedback,” says Garcea. “That’s not only because it helps us to set the agenda for next year’s conference, but because we’re honoured that so many of the participants chose to share their thoughts with us. As a conference by and for industry, that input is critical to our efforts to provide timely and relevant conference content. Look for your input to be reflected in next year’s conference program.”

The BCCSA would like to thank this year’s conference sponsors: Norland Limited, Emil Anderson Construction, and Jacob Brothers Construction.

This content is an Industry Special by BCCSA in collaboration with ConstructConnect™ Media. To learn more about BCCSA, visit

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