Get ready for SiteReadyBC: BCCSA’s new introductory site safety orientation course is being built for the province, but ready for Canada
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SiteReadyBC, a brand-new introductory construction safety training course created by the BC Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA) is set to launch in early Spring 2020. The course will focus on BC safety regulations but is being built so it can be adapted for use across Canada.
The popular online training program previously known as the Construction Safety Training System (CSTS-09) provided safety orientation for new and returning construction industry workers and was launched in 2004. Since it was first offered online in 2010, almost 75,000 BC construction workers have completed the course. For many BC employers, presentation of a CSTS certificate has become mandatory for all new employees upon first entering a construction site.
Why change course content now? CSTS-09 is owned by the Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA) and the BCCSA has been the sole distributor of that training program in BC. While course content met the needs of the industry in both provinces for a number of years, the ACSA launched a new Alberta-focused course in September 2019.
“From our perspective, their new course no longer fully met the needs of the BC construction industry, so we withdrew it from our offerings,” says Mike McKenna, executive director, BCCSA. “CSTS-09 was well accepted here in British Columbia, so whatever replaces it is going to have a huge impact on our members who need to efficiently provide their workers with consistent content on primary safety orientation. Along with our Board of Directors, we saw this as a perfect opportunity to create a new course, fully focused on the regulations covering the BC construction industry and expanding on the information that was offered.”
Erin Linde, Director, Health and Safety Services with BCCSA is overseeing course development.
She notes that the course will include worker rights and responsibilities, employer responsibilities, the role of the supervisor, law and regulations, expectation of worksite behaviour, hazard identification and control, personal protective equipment, manual materials handling, introduction to basic tools, occupational health and hygiene, inspections, investigations and emergency response. SiteReadyBC will also include Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System 2015(WHMIS-2015) certification, something never covered under CSTS-09.
“SiteReadyBC will cover everything included in the previous course, with plenty of new material,” she says. “We have some ideas about areas that should be included and expanded and we’re working closely with stakeholders such as the Prime Contractor Technical Advisory Committee to identify additional material that our members want to see covered. We want to arm workers with the best and most comprehensive information to allow them to confidently set foot on any construction site in the province.”
SiteReadyBC course infrastructure will be built using discrete modules that can be easily adjusted for use across the country. This will allow other jurisdictions to adopt the course and make it easier for employers who operate in multiple jurisdictions to train their workers who move from location to location.
SiteReadyBC will be offered at the same price, using the same distribution model as its predecessor. As with all courses offered by the BCCSA, any profits derived from provision of the course will support its Research, Development & Opportunity fund, which funds association response to emerging construction industry issues.
“Our job is to serve our members by making sure the content is excellent and getting the course into their hands in a cost-effective way,” says McKenna. “With progress so far, we’re anticipating a launch of SiteReadyBC in Q1 – 2020.”