Industry

Partners in Safety: Partnerships, Leadership and Injury Prevention

Production SCSA’s Virtual Reality Safety Training Tool for Hazard Assessment
Production SCSA’s Virtual Reality Safety Training Tool for Hazard Assessment

2018 was a year of significant change and advancement for the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) and its members. “Strategic alliances with the Saskatchewan Polytechnic School of Construction, the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, Saskatchewan Safety Council, WorkSafe Saskatchewan and others, were strengthened this past year—helping to further extend and integrate our message of injury prevention and safety leadership throughout the province and that is a big win for us,” says SCSA President, Collin Pullar. It is estimated that preventable injuries cost the provincial economy $1.1 billion each year.

Two partnerships that will potentially impact how future construction industry leaders and the workforce think about safety were the ones reached with Saskatchewan Polytechnic and with the Saskatchewan Safety Council. The partnership agreement with Saskatchewan Polytechnic will see students registered in the School of Construction receive Safety Construction Orientation Training (SCOT®) at no cost. At the high school level, SCOT is being offered to students at no cost through the Saskatchewan Safety Council’s Career Safety Education programming and through SCOT for Schools. SCOT is recognized throughout the construction industry as a base safety orientation in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.

A new partnership with White Rabbit VR, a division of Twisted Pair Productions saw the development of 360 degree Virtual Reality experiences for the safety training environment in Saskatchewan. “One of the cool things about this partnership is that virtual reality takes the way we teach—in the classroom, on the work site, in demos—to a whole new level,” explains Pullar. “Our Board is excited to bring these tools to the industry. This changes the game for us in so far as building stronger impressions in learning. It gives the user experience in navigating dangerous situations in the construction environment in a safe way.”

The partnership that was formed in 2017 with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) helped to not only put the SCSA in the rural communities where their members are, but also where those business owners, and the people who they employ in the construction industry, spend their time during the winter months…in the local hockey arena. Over the course of the 2018-2019 season, the SCSA will be running a series of safety messages on the digital displays in each of the 12 communities that host SJHL teams.

According to the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) since 2008, this province has realized an overall drop of 48.6 per cent in injury rates. 2017 marked the second year in a row, 88 per cent of Saskatchewan employers had zero injuries. More than 57 per cent of WCB rate codes had lower total injury rates in 2017 than in 2016. WCB Chairperson Gord Dobrowolsky credits the injury prevention efforts of workers, employers and safety partners around the province, like the SCSA, with the decrease.

The Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) is an industry-funded, membership-based, non-profit organization that provides cost-effective, accessible safety training and advice to employers and employees in the construction industry throughout the province to reduce the human and financial losses associated with injuries. Registered March 20, 1995 the SCSA is, and has been since inception, committed to injury prevention. Serving almost 10,000 member companies, with business offices in both Regina and Saskatoon, the major business units of the association are Advisory Services, Business Development, Corporate Services, Program Services and Training. The mission of the SCSA is constructing safety leadership in Saskatchewan and the vision is to create the safest construction environment in Canada. For more information visit, scsaonline.ca.