Annual Reports

For the last 20 months our workload is up over 300% when compared to our experience before the pandemic. We have raised our service level to meet the need and this has translated into a tangible perceived increase in value for COCA as an institution. We have intentionally positioned ourselves as a critical resource for our collective employer members, our peer construction sector leads, and as a leader and collaborator with other industry sectors in regards to matters related to WorkSafeBC and Technical Safety BC. We have also strengthened our political currency with the Minister of Labour, the Deputy Minister and at all points within WorkSafeBC and Technical Safety BC. Work in these areas has increased our ability to influence change and protect our collective members’ interests. We are actively working on helping/ supporting members across the system, proving critical expertise and information (all things pandemic, health & safety and economic recovery), representing construction’s interests in a wide range of regulatory development, pushing for political change through advocacy, and contributing to as number of special projects critical to our workforce (i.e. PPE/ opioids issue/ Covid-19 testing).   We are currently focusing our attention and activity in the following main areas:
  • The Minister’s appointment of WorkSafeBC’s Board positions - ensuring our interests are maintained at the WorkSafeBC board table.
  • Patterson report – lobbying in partnership with other sectors to prevent damage from the report. The recommendations in this Report would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • COR Program – lobbying WorkSafeBC to stop the crippling redevelopment of the program
  • Traffic Control Program (TCP) – lobbying WorkSafeBC to ensure there are not two independent /different standards.
  • Covid 19 – providing appropriate information around safety, vaccination and testing to members (townhalls, e-blasts, and individual member conversations).
  • Opioid Special Project – lobbying to Public Health/ CDC to open up naloxone kits for a construction-wide distribution campaign.
  • Regulation development – actively working to ensure fair and workable Occupational Health & Safety regulations, policy and guidance notes in various states of play that directly affect our sector.
  • Leading/ facilitating Club 3:45 – ensuring leadership, harmony and information exchange within our sector (in collaboration with BCCA).
  • COCA Meetings – ensuring high quality engagement between senior leaders/ decision makers and our membership and supporting a comprehensive strategic approach (member supported)
  • PPCC – protecting Construction’s interests against Organized Labour’s agenda.
  • Employer’s Forum
  • Asbestos Taskforce – sitting as a member of the Provincial Government’s Asbestos Taskforce to make sure the recommendations work for our industry.
  • Liaison and Relationship Maintenance – working with the WorkSafeBC Chair/ CEO/ Senior Staff, Deputy Minister of Labour, Minister of Labour to ensure systemic touch points/ relations are also established with all critical decision makers within WorkSafe BC and the Technical Safety BC (in collaboration with BCCA).
  • Technical Safety BC Leadership Transition – supporting the transition through participating in providing membership feedback on the institution and suggested competencies for a new CEO.
  • Member town halls and virtual meetings – we have been providing a rolling series of townhall sessions to construction associations dispensing time sensitive and critical information.
  • Other – attending meetings, collecting information, track trends, assess opportunities, identify issues to properly inform members and assist with their WorkSafeBC needs.
  • Discussion papers – COCA responded to a wide variety of Discussion Papers from WorkSafeBC. These papers are important. They are used as a means of collecting feedback on draft regulations, policy and guidelines that are proposed by WorkSafeBC. COCA is one of the very few employer organizations that analyzes and responds to the Discussion Papers.
    • Occupational Health & Safety Issues
      • Abrasive Blasting
      • Exposure Limits
      • Part 3: Minimum levels of First Aid
      • Part 3: Unsafe Work
      • Part 14: Cranes & Hoists
    • Claims Compensation Issues
      • Photophobia
      • Permanent Partial Disability Policy re Bill 23
      • Practice directives re Bill 23
      • Retirement Age
      • Relief of Cost on COVID
      • Workplace Status
COCA was created to present a united front and systematic approach to WorkSafeBC assessment, claims and occupational health and safety issues. COCA also deals with Technical Safety BC and the Provincial Government in regards to construction’s workplace health and safety interests and is an ad-hoc committee of BCCA. COCA represents 20 BC construction associations from every sector and size company, both union and non-union. The BCCA acts as the secretariat, contributing the largest funding amount. The BCCA appoints four Directors to sit on COCA’s Board with representatives from the other construction associations. COCA ensures that regulatory changes are reasonable and effectively promote safety. As a result, millions of dollars have been saved and industry’s interests protected. COCA has continued to be instrumental in supporting members through various Covid-19 related issues and concerns with WorkSafeBC including ensuring that construction’s essential service status is maintained, providing timely updates and clarification to members on the impact of Public Health Orders including stop work orders, vaccinations and rapid testing. We also actively work to ensure that employers’ perspectives are communicated to WorkSafeBC and the provincial government. COCA is a member of WorkSafeBC’s Policy and Practice Consultative Committee (PPCC) in an effort to balance/ check labour’s aggressive agenda. During the 2020-2021 fiscal year, COCA advocated for industry on numerous files. A few high points include:
  • PPE, in particular Hard Hats
  • Traffic Control
  • Mobile Equipment
  • Bill 23 Policy Changes and Practice Directives
  • COR ~ in particular the new Audit process being implemented by WorkSafeBC
  • BC Labour Code changes
  • Pattison Report – implications for WorkSafeBC
  • Workplace Violence, Bullying and Harassment Regulations and Policies
  • Cost Relief and Return to Work policy changes
  • Concrete Pumps
  • WorkSafeBC Board nominations
  • Recycling Abrasive Blasting Materials
Over the past four years, British Columbia has been grappling with an opioid overdose epidemic, officially recognized as a health crisis in 2016. The construction industry has struggled with the opioid crisis as the construction trades account for over 50% of overdose deaths. We are actively working on The Naloxone Challenge – a campaign to place a Naloxone Kit in the hands of every construction worker in BC.
The Council of Construction Associations (COCA) represents most of British Columbia’s construction associations (20 in all) and acts on behalf of the construction industry in WorkSafeBC matters.  COCA works to present a united front and a systematic approach to WorkSafeBC issues.  COCA initiates and responds to legislative, regulatory, policy and practice issues within the workers’ compensation system in BC.  COCA also assists individual contractors with their WorkSafeBC concerns. A summary of key 2019 activities /issues follows:

Q1 - January to March

  1. January 17th, met with Chris Gardner, Clyde Scollan, Dave Earl, Jack Davidson and Mike McKenna to discuss construction related matters.
  2. January 16th – 18th worked with Trevor Alexander in regards to CEO succession.
  3. January 24th, attended the Employer’s Forum.
  4. January 29th, held a retirement appreciation event for Diana Miles, CEO WorkSafeBC at the Marriott Hotel in Vancouver .
  5. February 5th COCA submitted written comment on: WorkSafeBC Proposed Policy- Merits and Justice.
  6. February 6th, provided a special briefing on Asbestos to Neil Moody, CEO BC Homebuilders.
  7. February 6th, met via conference call with Chris Atchison, Chris Gardner, Tim McEwan, Clyde Scollan, and Kelly Scott to discuss CBA agreements.
  8. February 6th, provided Chris Atchison feedback on COCA’s governance structure.
  9. February 6th, met with Al Johnson, VP WorkSafeBC to discuss CEO succession.
  10. February 13th, Cheryl attended the ICBA CEO’s breakfast.
  11. February 14th, met with Don Schouten, Manager, Industry Liaison Regulatory Practices and Dave Earl, CEO BC Trucking Association, to discuss various regulations.
  12. February 21st, attended the Employer’s Forum.
  13. March 1st, attended pre-consultation on OHSR Part 18 – Traffic Control at WorkSafeBC.
  14. March 1st, COCA's submitted written response concerning proposed revisions to WorkSafeBC's Prevention Manual.
  15. March 5th, provided a phone briefing to Wayne Feetback, Chair of the COCA Board.
  16. March 7th, COCA Board meeting held at VRCA.
  17. March 11th, met with Chris Back, Director WorkSafeBC to discuss COR and other matters.
  18. March 14th, met with Trevor Hughes, Deputy Minister of Labour to discuss the new governments priorities as they concern WorkSafeBC and to provide some of the critical issues that matter to BC’s Construction Sector.
  19. March 14th, met with Don Schouten, Manager, Industry Liaison Regulatory Practices, to discuss regulations.
  20. March 18th, met with Dale Walker, vice-president, Employer, Industry and Worker Services to discuss COR and other matters.
  21. March 18th, met with Don Schouten, Manager, Industry Liaison Regulatory Practices, to discuss regulations and in particular Traffic Control.
  22. March 21st, Trevor Hughes, Deputy Minister of Labour to discuss the new governments priorities as they concern WorkSafeBC and to provide some of the critical issues that matter to BC’s Construction Sector.

Q2 - April to June

  1. April 1st, attended a government relations lunch in Victoria at the Empress Hotel - 24 MLAs from both sides of the legislature attended.
  2. April 4th, sent in a written submission regarding comments on the amendments to part 16 - Mobile Equipment.
  3. April 4th, COCA sent in a written submission regarding the PDES Review
  4. April 4th, provided a special briefing on the new WorkSafeBC review to Neil Moody, CEO BC Homebuilders.
  5. April 8th, met with Chris Atchison, CEO of BCCA to discuss COCA and other governance implications
  6. April 8th, Attached the BCCA Construction Leadership Dinner in Victoria.
  7. April 9th, presented to the BCCA Board of Directors.
  8. April 11th, met with Al Johnson, Vice President of Prevention Services to discuss succession and other WorkSafeBC issues.
  9. April 11th, met with Don Schouten, Manager, Industry Liaison Regulatory Practices, to discuss proposed regulations and policies changes.
  10. April 15th, met via phone conference with Lori Guiton, Director of Regulatory Practice, Charles Kelly, consultant regarding the proposed concrete pumper truck Regulation and process.
  11. April 18th, attended the Employer’s Forum by phone.
  12. April 18th, met with legal counsel regarding the Janet Patterson WorkSafeBC review.
  13. April 25th, Attended the CEO roundtable in Burnaby.
  14. April 26th, held a meeting with Lori Guiton, Director of Regulatory Practice, Al Johnson, Vice President of Prevention Services with representatives from the Restoration Contractors to discuss issues related to asbestos.
  15. April 26th, COCA submitted Amendments to ASTD Policy.
  16. April 28th, Attended the Day of Mourning event in Vancouver.
  17. May 6th, submitted Priorities for regulatory review in 2020/21
  18. May 14th, attended the Pre-consultation session on OHSR Part 18 Traffic Control.
  19. May 15th, COCA submitted Changes to the Assessment Manual
  20. May 15th, COCA submitted a response - OH&S Parts - 8, 20 and 21
  21. May 21st, Presented to the VRCA Board of Directors.
  22. May 22nd, attended a meeting with Chris Atchison, CEO of BCCA, Clyde Scollan, CEO of CLR and Cheryl Hogg to meet the Clyde’s successor Ken McCormack.
  23. May 27th, met with Andrew Weaver (MLA) in Victoria.
  24. June 3rd, meet with Mike Sully via phone conference regarding proposed training for contractors working with Asbestos.
  25. June 6th, COCA Board meeting help with Minister Hairy Bains and Deputy Minister Trevor Hughes.

Q3 - July to September

  1. July 3rd, sent in a briefing note to WorkSafeBC regarding occupational exposure limits.
  2. July 11th, attended the Employer’s Forum.
  3. July 11th, met with Don Schouten, Manager, Industry Liaison Regulatory Practices, to discuss proposed regulations and policies changes.
  4. July 17th, met with Mike McKenna, CEO of the BCCSA.
  5. July 22nd, submitted a short paper in response to the release of the Boygo Report.
  6. July 23rd, attended a meeting with legal counsel regarding Janet Patterson review.
  7. July 31st, attended a ICBA event.
  8. August 2nd, sent in a briefing note to WorkSafeBC on Evidence and Decision-making Policy.
  9. August 8th, COCA attended a conference call with legal counsel regarding the Patterson Review.
  10. August 8th, COCA consulted with ICBA regarding proposed strategy pertaining to Janet Patterson review.
  11. August 12th, attended a conference call with employers regarding the Patterson Review.
  12. August 14th, COCA reviewed and approved the industry response to the Patterson Review and formally signed on.
  13. August 22nd, COCA attended a attended a special CEO and Executive Director gathering at the Keg in Burnaby, BC.
  14. August 23rd, met with Don Schouten, Manager, Industry Liaison Regulatory Practices, to discuss proposed regulations and policies changes.
  15. September 5th,  COCA Board meeting.
  16. September 5th, COCA joined forces with the Employers’ Forum in a face to face meeting to send a clear message to Minister Bains regarding the bias of the Janet Paterson Review.
  17. September 9th, met with Chris Garner, president and CEO and Tim McEwen, VP of ICBA to discussed matters of mutual interest and align our respective organizations strategically.
  18. September 12th, attended the Concrete BC concrete pump launch in Vancouver. Had an opportunity to speak with Minister Bains regarding a number of COCA member issues.
  19. September 13th, attended a WorkSafeBC special Employer’s meeting regarding bullying, harassment and violence in the workplace.
  20. September 19th, attended the Employers’ Forum.
  21. September 20th, COCA hosted a membership appreciation event. Event was well attended and successful.
  22. September 23rd, COCA attended a special forum - WorkSafeBC’s Review of Workplace Violence, Bullying and Harassment Regulations and Policies.
  23. September 25th, Met with Mike McKenna, President and CEO, BCCSA, Dave Earl, President and CEO, BC Trucking Association, and Jack Davidson, Consultant, to discuss strategy and matters of mutual concern.

Q4 - October to December

  1. October 1st, met with WorkSafeBC Regulation Practices to discuss Cost Relief.
  2. October 8-10 attended a damage prevention conference with a variety of BC construction companies and utilities.
  3. October 11th, attended a special meeting with other industry leads to discuss strategy and next steps concerning the Patterson review.
  4. October 15th, met with Minister Bains at his constituency office in Surrey. Discussed matters of mutual interest and WorkSafeBC.
  5. October 16th, met with Don Schouten, Manager, Industry Liaison Regulatory Practices, to discuss proposed regulations and policies changes.
  6. October 21st, met with Minister Farnsworth in Victoria, to discuss matters of mutual interest.
  7. October 23rd, met with Chris Back, WorkSafeBC Director - ILS to discuss COR and other matters of mutual interest.
  8. October 24th, attended the Employers’ Forum.
  9. October 25th, made an appearance at BCCGA’s safety conference in Vancouver.
  10. October 26th, attended a social event and discussed matters of mutual interest with George Hayman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
  11. October 28th, met with Anne Naser, President and CEO WorkSafeBC, to discuss COCA, the reorganization at WorkSafeBC and priorities in the Construction Sector.
  12. October 28th, attended VRCA awards night.
  13. October 30th, COCA submitted a formal written response to Public Hearings & Consultation on proposed amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (Parts 8, 16, 20, and 21).
  14. October 30th, supported a Cross sectoral employers’ letter to Hon. Harry Bains, Minister of Labour regarding the Patterson Workers' Compensation Review Process.
  15. November 1st, met with WorkSafeBC Regulations Practice Division to discuss Concrete BC’s concerns about the new concrete pump regulation that is going to public hearing later this year.
  16. November 1st, met with Trevor Hughes, Deputy Minister of Labour to discuss the new governments priorities as they concern WorkSafeBC and to provide some of the critical issues that matter to BC’s Construction Sector.
  17. November 5th, attended ICBA’s 44th Annual ICBA Gala Dinner.
  18. November 7th, with Don Schouten, Manager, Industry Liaison, Regulatory Practices, to discuss proposed regulations and policies changes.
  19. December 4, 2019 COCA Board Meeting with Anne Naser, CEO WorkSafeBC.
  20. December 5th – 7th, attended the Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Annual Christmas Conference.
  21. December 10th attended CEO Christmas event at the Keg in Burnaby.
  22. December 11th met with Manley McLachlan to discuss big data and safety management systems as they relate to the BC Construction Sector.
  23. December 12th, met with Don Schouten, Manager, Industry Liaison
  24. Regulatory Practices, to discuss proposed regulations and policies changes.
  25. December 12th, attended the annual COCA Chair and President’s dinner.
  26. December 13th, attended a special Employers’ Forum strategy session regarding the Jeff Parr Review.
  27. December 19th, attended the annual VRCA Christmas Party at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
  28. December 19th prepared an internal brief for the Employer’s Forum concerning construction’s position in regard to the Jeff Parr Review.