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Safety consultant crafts COVID-19 training for B.C. builders

Russell Hixon
Safety consultant crafts COVID-19 training for B.C. builders

After WorkSafeBC announced it would be stepping up construction site inspections for COVID-19 prevention compliance, a Vancouver safety consulting company decided to step up and create training materials.

Robin Van Driel, founder of VanDriel OHS consulting (VOHS Group) said she was inspired to create a video training course to help construction companies navigate OHS compliance after reading coverage of the stepped-up inspections.

“I couldn’t find any training resources for the construction industry,” said Van Driel. “Everything was generic or for healthcare.”

Van Driel said that as far as she knows, her training is the only resource of its kind available to support the construction industry and contribute to the BC CDC COVID-19 response fund.

Van Driel explained that unlike most workplaces, construction sites typically have multiple employers, various trades and various sub trades requiring a lot of coordination and clearly defined roles. 

“Employers must provide supervision, training, instruction and information” said Van Driel. This resource can hit three out of those four.”

She explained that the format makes it easy to view on a phone or a computer. The training also includes a brief quiz that generates a certificate of completion. She said this could be of critical importance to prove to WorkSafeBC that requirements are being met and work can continue. 

“Our goal is to help companies be compliant but in a practical way,” Van Driel said. 

VOHS Group is a team of former officers, managers and supervisors from WorkSafeBC’s construction division. Van Driel said the group has become a primary industrial hygiene consulting firm for the construction industry. 

As of April 7, WorkSafeBC reported it had conducted 511 inspections related to construction resulting in 40 orders.

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