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Stakeholders for B.C.’s largest infrastructure project sign Builders Code pledge

Russell Hixson
Stakeholders for B.C.’s largest infrastructure project sign Builders Code pledge
BC HYDRO — Crews prep for concrete at the Site C Dam project site in Fort St. John, B.C. The project’s contractors and owner recently signed the Builders Code.

BC Hydro and seven of its largest contractors have adopted the Builders Code standard across Site C, making it the first multi-contractor, project–wide participant in the anti-bullying, anti-discrimination project.

“Diversity and inclusion has always been a focus at Site C since the start of construction,” said Greg Alexis, community relations manager for the project. “While the Builders Code complements existing respectful workplace policies in place at the site, signing this pledge further demonstrates the joint commitment that everyone has a right to be safe and protected on the worksite.”

The Site C contractors joining BC Hydro in the Builders Code signing are AFDE Partnership, Peace River Hydro Partners, ATCO Two Rivers Lodging Group, Duz Cho Construction, Voith Group, Saulteau Safety and Security, and Allteck Limited Partnership. 

The Builders Code sets a standard code of conduct for workers on construction sites in B.C. It defines an “Acceptable Worksite” as the starting point for reducing risk and ensuring a safe and productive environment for all workers.

The Builders Code is intended to help construction employers communicate a reasonable, consistent behaviour expectation to improve the safety, productivity and retention of skilled tradespeople, and reduce project risk.

The BC Construction Association, the group behind the Builders Code project, believes that creating an inclusive culture in construction now will be critical for the future.

“Large employers and public owners like BC Hydro have the power to make a huge positive impact on culture across the construction workforce,” said Chris Atchison, president of the BC Construction Association. “By bringing so many large contractors along with them and approaching culture change from a project rather than a company perspective, the team at BC Hydro is showing tremendous leadership.”

Atchison noted with post-COVID 19 economic recovery leaning heavily on infrastructure investment, the industry continues to face a skilled workforce shortage.

This creates a growing imperative for industry culture to change in order to attract and retain talent. 

“BC Hydro takes pride in the diversity of its trades workforce,” said Alexis. “On the Site C project site, contractors are currently reporting that 12 per cent of the workforce is women and 10 per cent self-declare as Indigenous, which is much higher than the current industry norms of six per cent and five per cent respectively.”

The Site C dam, near Fort St. John, B.C., is the largest infrastructure project ever built in B.C. This spring, the project has had as many as 4,500 workers onsite.

“We recognize that enforcing a positive message on construction sites is more important than ever,” said Alexis. “And by signing this pledge, we feel it will help with both the attraction and the retention of a skilled workforce for the remainder of the project.”

 

Follow the author on Twitter @RussellReports.

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