2015 Annual Report

2015 Q1 – Q4 Summary Report

The Council of Construction Associations (COCA) represents most of British Columbia’s construction associations (19 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 activities /issues follows:

Q1 – January to March

  1. Dianna Miles is formally appointed WorkSafeBC’s CEO
  2. COCA Board meeting held January 14th.
  3. WorkSafeBC appointed four new Board Members to replace members that had finished their Board term of office.
  4. COCA Executive, in collaboration with BCCA and CLR, is looking into what the implications are to incorporate in to a legal trust (connected to the BCCA).
  5. Submitted a discussion paper on Vocational Rehabilitation Policy Review – Phase I. In this paper we argue that management oversight should be used to ensure that the decisions made by Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants are made within the limits prescribed by the Workers’ Compensation Act and written WorkSafeBC policy — and that the VRCs are aware that their work will be reviewed when longer-term rehabilitation plans are contemplated.
  6. In collaboration with BCCA and BCCSA, COCA supports the exploration process with Hydro to move away from 3rd party tendering in favour of a hybrid BC COR certification for construction proponents. This approach builds on the success of the COR program and ensures it remains relevant to industry.
  7. Continued to work in collaboration with the Employer’s Forum on numerous working groups to ensure the Macatee recommendations are implemented in a reasonable way for industry.

Q2 – April to June

  1. Helped provide industry feedback on the new legislation introduced to support the Macatee recommendations. On balance the new legislation reflects the Macatee report recommendations that there are no provisions for Orders to Workers.
  2. COCA Board meeting held April 22nd.
  3. Reviewed the discussion paper on long-term average earnings for GECA Workers. No significant changes were recommended.
  4. Submitted 8 Journal of Commerce articles on the Claims Process (from an industry perspective).
  5. Tracking the developments from the Lakeland inquest for potential issues for construction.
  6. Tracking the work of the WSBC Claims Committee in particular the duration of claims data. We remain vigilant and supportive to strategies and initiatives designed to design to reduce overall duration.
  7. Reviewing jurisdictional implications concerning an employer’s liability as it concerns travel to and from worksites. A brief environmental scan of other jurisdictions has been completed.
  8. Reviewing a WorkSafeBC decision that used a worker’s earnings from outside of Canada in order to calculate Average Earnings. COCA believes that the Workers’ Compensation Act is intended to provide workers’ compensation based on verified earnings within BC.
  9. Submitted a discussion paper concerning Regulatory amendments relating to WHMIS 2015. In our submission we support the new amendments as they create consistency across Canada.
  10. Provided an industry rep for WorkSafe BC’s small business consultation group. This group will specifically look at how the interests and issues of small business can be more effectively addressed.
  11. Continues to support BCCSA’s development of a new silica resource. We are particularly interested in the impact of the current silica level on mitigation strategies to ensure it is workable for industry.
  12. Attended the Day of Mourning ceremony on Tuesday, April 28th
  13. Resolved its structural issue. It will remain a consortium with administrative assistance from BCCA.
  14. Supported the development and publication of a JOC article entitled “What Makes Good Regulation?” by Kent Hillman.
  15. Provided early industry feedback on the new WorkSafeBC regulations that interpret the new amendments under Bill 9.
  16. Provided a consultation session at the May 20th Construction Networking and Lunch Event held at the Delta Chamber of Commerce.
  17. Attended a pre-consultation session June 16th: Part 14 – Cranes & Hoists – Load Limit Devices
  18. Attended a pre-consultation session June 23rd: Part 13 and 14 – Cranes & Hoists.
  19. Long-term COCA Chair Ken Farey advised that he wishes to retire from the role of Chair. Ken has chaired COCA through many challenging years and his leadership and commitment have been a major factor in COCA’s ongoing success on behalf of the Construction Industry. Discussions were held between COCA staff and the major COCA shareholders in order to develop an appropriate plan for succession.
  20. COCA Board meeting held June 24th.

Q3 – July to September

  1. Held a series of meetings with the electrical contractors and WorkSafeBC to explore an apparent shift in the interpretation of a critical electrical definition within the regulations. As a follow up, both parties have committed to examine what other jurisdictions do (outside of BC) to see how they interpret the definition.
  2. Submitted a written response on the draft regulation concerning on Stop Work Orders (D12-191-1 ) July 8th.
  3. Responded to a complaint from member of the Vancouver Island Construction Association that the some of their members were having issues with how inspectors were interpreting confined space. Worked with senior elements within WorkSafeBC to ensure the interpretation is consistent with industry’s understanding.
  4. Submitted a written response on the draft regulation concerning OH&S Citations July 20th.
  5. Provided industry feedback on the new Occupational Health and Safety Compliance Agreements under Bill 9. No significant changes were recommended.
  6. Provided early industry feedback on the Employer Incident Investigation policy and regulation, in which we highlighted the administrative challenges. No other significant changes were recommended.
  7. Provided early industry feedback on the draft Crane regulations. No significant changes were recommended.
  8. Meeting with WorkSafeBC and the Form Contractors on August 26th to address a concern and to explore regulations and enforcement issues.
  9. Attended a pre-consultation session on Section 4.56, Guardrail Heights September 1st.
  10. Attended a pre-consultation session on Part 6, sections 6.59 to 6.68, handling lead during large removal projects.
  11. Attended a pre-consultation session on 20.2 Notice of Project for Construction September 22nd.
  12. Met with the WorkSafeBC Actuary to review construction rates for 2015/ 2016.
  13. COCA Board meeting held September 30th.

Q4 – October to December

  1. Worked with the Employers’ Forum on the anticipated impact of Bill 35.
  2. Sat down with senior elements at Ledcor October 14th to discuss the issue of supplier obligations. This issue will be formally tabled at the December COCA meeting to secure a mandate to advance the issue to WorkSafeBC.
  3. Submitted a briefing note on Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Penalty Policies.
  4. Submitted a briefing note on Partners Program Discussion Paper; September 22, 2015.
  5. Attended the second pre-consult on pre-consultation session on 20.2 Notice of Project for Construction October 19th.
  6. Attended the second pre-consultation on Part 6, sections 6.59 to 6.68, handling lead during large removal projects.
  7. Met with Lori Guiton, Director Assessment Policy and Research Services to discuss Bill 35 regulatory interpretation.
  8. Worked with a member company to successfully resolve a WorkSafeBC inspector issue in the Okanagan region.
  9. Presented COCA tactics and successes to the BCCA Board Nov 26th.
  10. Developed a plan to integrate the understanding from the Formwork meeting (held Aug 26th) into the regulation review process and successfully delayed the early January pre-consultation session.
  11. Wrote an article for the JOC introducing the Silica tool to industry with the BCCSA.
  12. Wrote an article for the JOC on ‘What to expect from an inspection’.
  13. Co-designed a process to discuss ‘relief of cost’ with WorkSafeBC for 2016.
  14. Co-designed a special meeting with Industry and the WorkSafeBc Regulation Practice Group to discuss supplier responsibilities.

* COCA continues to support individual companies with specific WorkSafeBC matters/ issues.