The BC Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA) reports encouraging enrollment and widespread industry adoption for SiteReadyBC, the first construction site safety orientation program built in BC, specifically for the province’s construction employers.
The online education program was launched in mid-July to replace the formerly used CSTS-09 and any other certifications designed to orient workers to construction site safety requirements.
SiteReadyBC was designed to provide the most up-to-date content covering BC laws and regulations, worker rights and responsibilities, an employer’s responsibilities, the role of a supervisor, expectations of worksite behaviour, identifying and controlling workplace hazards, personal protective equipment, and the use of common tools. The program performs double duty, simultaneously certifying workers under Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS 2015), which governs the identification of controlled products. The course is also designed to help employers meet their obligations under OHSR Part 3.23, which requires them to provide vital safety information to new and young workers.
“We didn’t want to wait until COVID-19 was entirely in the rearview mirror before our launch,” says Mike McKenna, executive director, BCCSA. “There was a demonstrated need for the program and we felt that this launch date offered an excellent opportunity for workers to become certified as they anticipate a robust industry recovery going forward.”
At the end of August, more than 500 people had registered for SiteReadyBC, exceeding the Alliance’s expectations.
“We’ve also seen SiteReadyBC become mandatory for all workers employed through British Columbia Infrastructure Benefits and for other major projects and employers,” says McKenna. “We’re very encouraged by the initial reception and response and the trend suggests that SiteReadyBC will fully occupy the construction site safety education space in BC.”
The program is designed to evolve along with the needs of employers and reflect the feedback of students who have completed the certification, says Erin Linde, director, health and safety services, with BCCSA.
“We’ve had some positive feedback on the scope of the course content, the focus on British Columbia regulations and especially on the WHMIS component of the program,” she says. “As a newly launched initiative, we’re also receiving some constructive feedback on how we can make the program work better visually on certain devices.”
For those who completed the course and shared their feedback, a majority state that they were confident in their “knowledge of basic construction safety protocols” following completion. Half of respondents said that they completed the certification program as required by their employer, while the other half decided to take the program on their own initiative.
“In addition to uptake by employers, we feel that the course will continue to demonstrate traction with individuals,” says Linde. “This could include people who are looking to find employment in the construction industry for the first time, those who want to upgrade their skills so they can qualify to be employed on projects where SiteReadyBC is mandatory, and workers who are returning to the industry after an absence and want to update themselves on safety orientation.”
Industry stakeholder response has also been positive.
“Safety is always a priority for our industry and we’re very pleased that BCCSA is making such an important contribution, especially at a time when virtual learning is essential for public health,” says Chris Atchison, president of the BC Construction Association. “We expect to see SiteReadyBC become a pillar of safety training in BC and strongly encourage employers to adopt it as a mandatory part of training and apprenticeship.”
This content is an Industry Special by BCCSA in collaboration with ConstructConnect™ Media. To learn more about BCCSA, visit www.bccsa.ca.