With COVID-19 physical distancing orders in effect across British Columbia, the BC Construction Association (BCCA) is making its anti-harassment, hazing and bullying training available online to help fight transmission of the virus while supporting worksite safety and productivity.
The COVID-19 pandemic can lead to increased stress and anxiety at work. Since its launch in 2019, the Builders Code has recognized that safety in the construction industry isn’t just about physical hazards and personal protective equipment, it’s also about psychological hazards. The impact of hazing, bullying, and harassment on productivity and safety cannot be underestimated.
For construction crews, the Builders Code “Cool or Tool?” app (available at the Apple Store or Google Play) is an engaging and effective reminder of acceptable behaviour. Its 20 real-life workplace scenarios depict model behavior or actions that compromise safety and productivity, workers simply identify if the behavior is “Cool” or “Tool” and get a message that reinforces the appropriate action and its benefits. The app includes a scenario about coming to work sick, which is particularly relevant as industry continues to face challenges related to COVID-19 and fights transmission of the virus.
“The “Cool or Tool?” application reinforces the right behaviours while pointing out the questionable ones. Its animated and humourous approach also makes the medicine more likely to be swallowed,” said Randy Delisle, Talent and Development Manager, Kinetic Construction. “The design is simple, and the job site scenarios are realistic. This is a timely and accessible reminder to everyone on how to create a productive work environment!”
In addition to the “Cool or Tool?” app, the Builders Code team has created an online culture training course on how to build an Acceptable Worksite culture, including definitions and appropriate policies and procedures. It discusses redefining safety and demonstrates how culture can create a safe and productive environment. There is content on COVID-19 and how it can bring new biases and discrimination to the worksite. The training will be provided at no cost to employers during the pandemic.
“The Builders Code training has been very beneficial and has provided our site leaders with the tools, knowledge and information they need in order to share, teach and promote the benefits of the code internally, as well as to sub-trades.” said Allison Greaves, Human Resources Manager, Durwest Construction Management. “It has resulted in more cohesive, respectful worksites and increased productivity. We look forward to the day that all contractors take the pledge!”
The Builders Code team has also made the Acceptable Worksite Pledge completely contactless. Employers can now visit the Builders Code website and electronically sign the pledge from their laptop, IPAD or mobile phone.
“Stress and distraction can have devastating consequences on a worksite,” said Chris Atchison, President, BCCA. “The number of employers taking the ‘Acceptable Worksite’ pledge make it clear that the construction sector is ready for a culture shift that will make it easier for us to retain the diverse skilled tradespeople we need to meet our labour needs. It was imperative that we bring our Builders Code training online and include COVID-19 coaching elements.”