Planning in an ever-changing world of construction
By Adam FreillConstruction Health & Safety Labour Leadership
Canadian on team working on contemporary update of international construction reference tool.
Dan Strand, director prevention field services at WorkSafeBC, recently met up with delegates from 52 countries as the International Labour Organization (ILO) hosted a “Meeting of Experts” in Geneva, Switzerland, to revise the 1992 Code of Practice on Safety and Health in Construction.
Selected by Employment and Social Development Canada as Canada’s expert amongst the international group representing workers, employers and governments, he and his fellow delegates spent long days reviewing and revising the 167-page document that serves as a reference tool that can help influence policies throughout the world, including in Canada.
One of the primary challenges, he said, was agreeing to practices that could be applied to countries with very different levels of sophistication in their national occupational health and safety laws and regulations, as well as variations in construction operations and labour practices.
Some of the key changes to the document that may influence Canada’s construction sector include the recommendation of a collaborative approach to risk assessment for construction safety management systems, a focus on psychosocial and psychological health and safety, navigating the impact of climate change, and crafting policies that acknowledge an increasingly diverse labour pool on jobsites.
“Construction in Canada has significantly evolved and changed over the last 30 years,” says Strand. “Contributing to the revision of global standards provided a unique opportunity to work with experts from around the world, contribute a Canadian perspective, and ensure the Canadian sector remains progressive and prepared for the challenges of a post-pandemic world.”
The final code document will be delivered later this year, likely in November.