Ledcor JOHSC Rethinks Safety Talks
A new, inclusive and collaborative safety committee provides members the opportunity to share concerns and ideas brought forth by work on Ledcor projects
Ledcor’s BC Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee (JOHSC) is a peer-to-peer committee that consists of equal membership between Ledcor management and CLAC members. The committee meets monthly to discuss, identify, and find solutions to health and safety issues.
This inclusive and collaborative committee provides members the opportunity to share concerns and ideas brought forth working on Ledcor projects. To ensure that our committee is open and accessible to all Ledcor employees, project team members are invited to the monthly meeting to discuss safety concerns and opportunities for improvement. They are also provided with a briefing regarding high-profile investigations.
To break down some of the JOHSC mystery, each month a committee member will invite a coworker to attend the meeting to observe and participate in the discussions. To provide increased committee awareness and influence, the committee members routinely attend Ledcor project’s weekly toolbox talk and participate in a project site inspection with the superintendent and a CLAC member.
One of our principal goals is to evaluate business health and safety issues and how these issues can be related to our home life. We try to write safety talks that can be applicable to both work and home life. Members are encouraged to think outside the organization for interesting topics and presenters.
This developing mindset has already produced a number of fantastic external and industry expert presenters and safety talks:
• RCMP – Discussed distracted driving and cell phones.
• BC CDC – Discussed acetaminophen overdose. This generated a safety talk on acetaminophen overdose prevention.
• Vancouver Health Authority – Discussed the opioid crisis. This led to several projects across BC hosting opioid crisis presentations at their projects for contractors and workers, who in turn hosted their own opioid safety talk at their main offices.
• HomeWood Health – Discussed personal biases and mental health in the workplace.
The JOHSC adopted technology and the use of data gathering to better understand the effectiveness of our committee with branch members. The committee created an online annual perception survey that is distributed to all regional Ledcor employees to provide their feedback regarding the committee.
The committee uses the data to develop strategies and action plans for continual improvement, including setting general tasks and goals for the following year. Planning includes predetermining group inspections and remote JOHSC meetings at two different projects, Safety Talk suggested subjects and frequency, and key activities (COR Audit, Safety Survey, Annual Terms of Reference review).
Influencing Other Joint Health Safety Committees across Canada
The BC JOHSC chairs have direct communication with our contractor partner’s JHS committee chairs and the BC Construction Safety Association. Together, we share the committee’s safety talks, Ledcor safety initiatives, and general industry safety concerns.
Using technology to record the meeting, the committee shares the video presentation with other Ledcor JHS committees across Canada. These video recordings provide insight into how the committee functions and a record of general discussions and ideas that are not always effectively captured in the meeting minutes.
The JOHSC was initially borne from the COR and regulatory requirements. The committee members began researching and identifying several key areas in which JHS committees were not effective.
Membership often consisted of a safety representative and management but rarely included nonmanagerial staff. Committees generally focussed on investigations, safe work practices, and WorkSafeBC inspections. When JHS committees did send out literature, it was difficult to differentiate between committee safety and a management safety memo.
Through our members’ own curiosity and belief in the purpose to improve our collective safety, we felt there had to be a better way. The inaugural committee believed that committee members should be comprised of members with a variety of roles—from labourers to carpenters to operation managers and everything in between.