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Construction High Risk Strategy

The Construction High Risk Strategy (HRS) is designed to reduce the construction industry’s serious injury rate through risk-reduction tactics focused on health and safety responsibilities specific to planning and supervision and high-risk work activities.

The statistical data shows that although the injury rate has been slowly decreasing over the past six years, the serious injury rate has remained steady. This has prompted a layered approach to identifying and correcting high risk work conditions and practices. The strategy looks at task or environmentally created hazards, and at responsibilities, planning, and the effectiveness of supervision.

Goals

The goals of the 2018-2020 HRS are to:

  • Prevent unsafe acts or conditions that cause workplace serious injuries and fatalities by addressing identified shortcomings in planning and supervision and by ensuring a proper selection of tools, equipment, or processes

Approaches

The 2018-2020 HRS is focused on three areas:

  • Health and safety responsibilities — Planning and supervision
    Officers will conduct workplace inspections focused on health and safety planning and supervision. They will engage prime contractors, owners, employer, supervisors, and workers to promote effective supervision and planning to prevent the development of unsafe working conditions and practices.
  • Tools, equipment, and processes — Choosing the safest option
    The target risks and injury areas for this initiative will focus on the selection of the right tool, equipment, or process to reduce workplace incidents resulting in serious injury and the development of high risk violations at workplaces. Shorter term inspectional campaigns, designed to be interchangeable and flexible, will also be conducted by officers.
  • Partnerships and collaborations
    This focus will include working with internal and external stakeholders, like the BC Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA), to encourage and foster communication to proactively respond to evolving industry challenges and emerging risks.

2019 additional focus

When we developed the 2018–2020 HRS, we recognized that within the three-year time frame we would need to retain flexibility to add additional focus areas. In 2019, we are increasing our enforcement efforts on fall protection system anchors selected and used in the residential wood frame construction industry. Our focus is primarily on employers in the Framing or Residential Forming and Steep Slope Roofing classification unit, since they experience a high volume of serious injury claims due to fall from roofs or scaffolds.

Inspections will also focus on the health and safety responsibilities of prime contractors to ensure they have established and maintained a system or process that will ensure compliance with the fall protection requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation.

We are also developing an industry bulletin to educate employers on how they can ensure they are selecting and using fall protection system anchors that meet the requirements of the OHS Regulation.

Deliverables and timelines

Activities

Details

Inspections — Prime contractor responsibilities
Q1–Q4 2019

  • Inspections focused on prime contractor responsibilities
  • Inspections focused on health and safety planning, supervision, and oversight
  • Education presentations to workers

Inspections — Falls from elevation
Q1–Q4 2019

Inspections focused on:

  • Fall protection anchor selection and use
  • Fall protection systems
  • Ladder use
  • Scaffolding and work platform use
  • Mobile work platforms
  • Any work conducted at elevation

Inspections — Struck by injuries
Q3–Q4 2019

Inspections focused on:

  • Work around mobile equipment
  • Leading edge work

Consultation and education activities

Fall prevention workshop
Q1–Q4 2019

  • Deliver, with the support of the BCCSA and other industry partners, a fall prevention workshop with a focus on ladders, scaffolding, work platforms, and supervisor responsibilities

BCCSA partnership
Q1–Q4 2019

  • Continue to assist, support, and partner with the BCCSA around WorkSafeBC’s Construction HRS, including the Bridging the Gap conference
  • Meet with the BCCSA to discuss the HRS focus and identify partnership opportunities, and develop resources related to data analysis for focus areas

“Is this the Right Tool for the Job?” initiative
Q1–Q4 2019

  • Focus on reducing serious injuries related to ladder use by having workers consider “Is this the right tool for the job?” before they reach for a ladder
  • Develop a strategy for expanding this messaging further into the construction industry, including a review of the communication and marketing plan

Updates and results

As part of our strategic initiative to develop measures to assess the effectiveness of prevention activities, we are providing updates of our High Risk Strategies and Industry Initiatives.

Note: To save space in bulleted lists, our update documents may refer to occupational health and safety as OHS. All references to the Act, refer to Part Three of the Workers Compensation Act. Penalties and warning letters reported in updates may have been initiated by inspections in a previous quarter.

Related resources