ICI construction’s safety performance is being rewarded. At the League of Champions webinar last week, Minister Monte McNaughton announced the approval of a reclassification of the WSIB G1 rate for next year, meaning lower premiums for ICI employers. This positive step forward is a result of three-year trending statistics showing that the ICI sector workers are safer than their low-rise residential counterparts. The OGCA has also been lobbying for the change since the new classifications, lumping ICI and residential construction together, were first proposed as part of rate framework reform four years ago.
WSIB rules permit a change in classification if one segment can show divergent long-term cost differential compared with others in the class over three years. WSIB data showed that rate group 764, the homebuilders' group in the former system, had a 1.80 percent lost-time injury (LTI) rating in 2018, up from 1.73 in 2012. The ICI sector, until 2020 in rate group 723, had a 0.69 percent LTI rating in 2018, down 34 percent from 2012.
When asked about the rate framework by the Daily Commercial News, Minister McNaughton said that "the best policies are set when government, employers and labour all work together." He also explained that "the WSIB approved a resolution to divide the building construction subclass into two subclasses. Essentially stakeholders in the ICI requested this, and it makes sense because the two classes are large enough to support themselves."
Currently, the OGCA cannot quantify how much members would save starting in 2021 as the WSIB began a multiyear transition to a new rate framework system starting in 2020. The OGCA does not expect a massive change in what the rates are in 2021, but the savings will become more noticeable over time.
For more information on this and other important stories related to ICI construction, please visit www.ogca.ca.
Welcome to my final column as President of the OGCA, but not my last opinion piece that I will be submitting from the sidelines as I continue to help and assist this great organization and its members.
Responses are coming in but more are needed to make this a successful study. All OGCA members are encouraged to share this survey and fill it out as quickly as possible. This is a major opportunity for our industry to gather important information that could change the course of events going forward.
We encourage all members to complete this: share with your subtrades, with consultants, anybody within the industry and in particular, with their clients. This is essential so that we get as broad a response as possible from all stakeholders in the industry.
This survey should take no more than 20 minutes of your time and remains open until June 30, 2020 and can be found here:
The OGCA is pleased to advise that we will once again be able to notarize documents required for your projects.
The new rules allow for online completion of this important procedure.
For those of you who need a document notarized, please follow the following steps.
- Send a request for the notarization of your document to Clive Thurston at firstname.lastname@example.org along with your billing address.
- Mr. Thurston will contact you to arrange a zoom call. During this call, he will observe you signing the document which you will then scan and email it back to him so that he can affix his signature and stamp and return it to you.
- You will also have to prove your identity so a copy of your driver’s license photo or simply show it during the zoom call which will be sufficient.
The OGCA will invoice you for the cost which is $30.00
The OGCA, together with over 15 other construction and design companies, has delivered over 2,300 litres of 80 per cent alcohol concentration Emterra Hand Sanitizer to frontline workers in Ontario. As our economy begins recovering from COVID-19, there is still a pressing need for PPE and sanitizing products. The OGCA was able to work with Canadian Liquids Processors and partnered with OGCA members and industry partners to purchase and donate this high-quality, made in Ontario product.
Canadian Liquids Processors helped us facilitate the donation recognizing the unique needs of frontline workers helping rebuild our economy. As such, this Health Canada approved product is formulated, sized and priced to reflect industrial users' needs. The OGCA thought it was only fair to donate a significant amount of sanitizing products frontline workers and offer it to OGCA members.
General Contractors in the ICI sector aim to promote safety excellence among members and within the industry. This donation, in addition to the 10,000 surgical masks donated previously, will allow frontline workers in corrections, shelters, and first responders, to stay safe in their workplace, just like OGCA members do on Ontario's ICI job sites every day.
For more information about COVID-19 PPE requirements, please visit: https://ogca.ca/
We have seen a tremendous amount of change in recent months and we want to remind you that effective July 1st, 2020, much of the new On-Site and Excess Soil Management Regulation, the Soil Rules, and amendments to Ontario’s Waste Management and Brownfield regulations will be in force. These new laws will put considerably more environmental requirements on companies involved in excavating, moving, processing, and placing soil.
Like you, we are learning more about the challenges and changes businesses are facing as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Goodmans is committed to continuing to provide timely legal and business advice while we navigate this global crisis together. Click here for the update which was published by Goodmans on June 19, 2020.
CCA's CONtact mentorship initiative aims to match aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs creating new solutions for the construction industry with experienced industry leaders to help refine their products and services, be it from start-up to scale-up for fast-track adoption.
To help OGCA members get a better understanding of innovation in our sector, the OGCA Innovation Committee is proud to introduce the “Innovation Corner” in our newsletter. The purpose of this ongoing section in our newsletter will be to highlight recent developments in the construction technology space.
This week, we would like to highlight a free web-based tool called Job Sentinel for tracking employee health status during the COVID-19 pandemic. Developed in partnership between OGCA APP member Maestro Technologies Inc. and Spiria, this web-based tool allows employees to record three base questions to track potential infections daily. The tool can also help evaluate from any mobile device whether your presence is safe on the project. It is super simple for employees and has dynamic reporting capabilities for management in a company account. This helps to eliminate any paper-based tracking that would require contact between employees.
This no-charge tool is one example of how Maestro is trying to help construction companies through this crisis. For more information on Job Sentinel, please see the article in Construction Links and Yahoo Finance.
All the webinar presentations are available for you online on the LOC website. League members, safety consultants and government officials have all presented best practices and strategies to keep your members safe with COVID-19.
It's been an honour and a pleasure to have Minister Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development participate on the LOC webinar, Labour Employment and HR Hotspots in Working with COVID-19, on Wednesday, June 17.
The Minister led the session and spoke about the government’s response to COVID-19. The Minister took this opportunity to announce the $75,000 funding awarded by the Ministry of Labour to the League of Champions. He also announced the approval of a reclassification of non-residential construction G1 rate in Year 2 (2021). This is a result of the high degree of health and safety in the ICI sector.
The presentation about “OHS and Human Rights Compliance Challenges during COVID-19” and “Employment & Labour Law Issues” were presented by two of Ontario’s top health and safety, labour and human rights construction lawyers: Norm Keith from Fasken and Mike Sherrard of Sherrard Kuzz.
Thank you, Minister McNaughton, for your support of the League and for recognizing our contribution to the industry. Thank you to our wonderful speakers, Norm and Mike, and to all the participants everyone who made this webinar a success.
View the presentations and recording here.
IHSA is pleased to advise that all training centres providing H & S training are now included in the regulations to open (as well as apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship training providers).
Restrictions include ensuring physical distancing maintained in facilities and following all public health requirements (in addition to minimum requirements of the Act and Regulations as normal). There will also be consideration for staggered start/end times if holding more than one class per facility to avoid line-ups or congregating in the common spaces, as well as use of washroom facilities to comply with distancing, etc.
Click here to access the link to the legislation (Schedule 2 sections 29 to 31.1).
IHSA will be updating their website to reflect the changes and the broader offering of their services as a result.
Canadian industry leaders worked together amidst the COVID-19 crisis to launch the Citizen Care Pod, a smart screening and testing pod that integrates intelligent technology within a modular design to support a safe, responsible recovery for governments, businesses, and communities.
Utilizing modular construction methods, PCL Construction is manufacturing and assembling the pods by retrofitting shipping containers with customizable options to support rapid delivery and installation to any site, including high-traffic or remote locations.
The customizable and portable structure is a ready-to-use solution for large-scale businesses, public works, sports and entertainment venues, airports, transit centres and more to support economic recovery.
We are thrilled to share with you the news that Pomerleau has officially embarked on the Lunch Box Challenge adventure. The idea behind #LunchBoxChallenge is simple: construction companies buy lunches locally for their sites and nominate another company to do the same.
The 70 Pomerleau workers at Purolator’s new national Super Hub site were treated to lunch boxes prepared by the San Francisco Café. The individual meals, wrapped in recyclable materials, were enjoyed according to the rules of physical distancing in force in order to ensure a safe environment for all. The team, in turn, nominated the site team at PCL Construction’s Toronto Pearson International Airport to join the Challenge. Congratulations to all involved and thank you PCL for accepting to be part of this great initiative.
For Pomerleau, this is just the beginning! We are committed to making the Challenge a coast-to-coast initiative by offering meals in all the provinces where we have active worksites.
Several other OGCA members have also taken up the challenge - including Aquicon Construction. If you want to add your company's name to the growing list of participants, please submit your photo and description to Mary Wademan.
As governments across all levels have begun to announce steps towards reopening the economy, companies have started to think about what reopening their businesses will entail.
To help you plan for the foreseeable future, we have identified key areas that should be taken into consideration, which we will be covering in this pre-recorded webinar.
For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Norm Keith.
In a decision released last week, the Court of Appeal for Ontario held an employer could not rely on a valid and enforceable “without cause” provision in an employment agreement where the agreement included a “for-cause” provision that violated Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”).
The Court of Appeal would not “sever” the invalid provision, despite the agreement containing an enforceable term stating any invalid provision should effectively be ignored (a “severability” clause). Instead, the court held the two termination provisions must be read together, such that, if one was invalid, they both were. The court was also not moved by the fact the employment relationship was terminated without cause – that is, the employer never sought to rely on the invalid, for-cause provision in the first place.
This is the most recent ruling in a string of Ontario decisions in which courts have taken a very restrictive approach to interpreting any employment agreement provision that may limit an employee’s termination entitlements.
It remains to be seen whether the court’s reasoning will be followed by other courts moving forward. Until then, the decision is a strong reminder for employers to review their employment agreements regularly to ensure compliance with the current (fluctuating) state of employment law in Ontario.
Click here for the Briefing Note.
The latest issue of the Ontario Legislative Reports is now available on the OGCA website. Please click here to access the latest issue.
The Ontario Legislative Report is updated every two weeks and explains the intention and status of legislation and regulations that could impact the construction industry. For issues prior to April 2019, please contact Mary Wademan at OGCA.
I am proud to welcome you to The Un-Conference! This special high-calibre, home-based forum has been designed to showcase the sessions, award winners, expert speakers and thought leadership that you didn’t get to experience in person in San Diego - from Joe Wrobel, Chair, Canadian Construction Association.
Please click here to access the seminars, speakers, sponsors and webinars.
The American sociologist Diane Vaughan coined the term “Normalization of Deviance” to describe this. She was involved in explaining the social causes of both the Space Shuttle Columbia and Challenger disasters. In both cases, NASA administration had explicit knowledge of problems which could destroy both orbiters which was then ignored or seen as normal because a disaster had not happened yet.