Hundreds of construction safety workers and representatives gathered on Tuesday, August 30, at the Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA) office in Edmonton, to celebrate the Association’s one millionth student to take safety training.
ACSA’s Executive Director, Dan MacLennan, said he was humbled to see how far the Association, and safety in Alberta’s construction industry, had come over the past three decades; referring to this milestone as representative of the hard work and dedication of many people over many years.
“This occasion commemorates the outstanding work of thousands of people working in safety across a growing Alberta construction industry, which is comprised of 255,000 workers, or one in every 10 Albertans,” said Mr MacLennan.
“It is this safety community of 13,000 National Construction Safety Officer’s, 280 Regional Safety Committee volunteers and one million students taking our courses, who in partnership with us, make workplaces safer, and enable everyone to return home unharmed at the end of each and every working day,” he said.
According to the Workers’ Compensation Board – Alberta (WCB), since the establishment of the ACSA in 1988, safety performance in Alberta has improved. Over the past 28 years, the number of lost-time claims (claims resulting in a workers time off work) has decreased by more than a third from over 7,100 to just under 4,800. And the number of lost time days (the number of days a worker has off work) has decreased by more than half from over 381,800 to now just 187,417. These figures are made even more impressive by the fact there are now 45,000 more companies working in the construction industry in Alberta than there were in 1988.
Mr MacLennan acknowledged the contributions of the ACSA over the past 28 years, but was quick to identify a number of important economic and political factors currently impacting the industry and causing the ACSA to enter into an “era of change.”
“With oil prices still well below where they need to be and Alberta’s unemployment rate now at 8.6 per cent, our province is enduring a second year of recession. As a result, the ACSA, like most other organizations and businesses, has had to adjust and navigate its way through an era of change,” Mr MacLennan continued.
“The result of the ongoing review of the WCB will also impact the way we do things, and we remain hopeful that the end result will be good news for our members and for the province.
“To adapt to our current environment, we have been implementing a number of key improvements to our courses and other services, to better serve the construction industry and enable employers and employees to maintain their safety training and foster a culture of safety in their workplaces.
“One such important change, which we are excited to announce at our millionth milestone event, is the launch of the new ACSA brand. We have a vibrant new visual identity that was launched at this event, and I personally can’t wait for everyone to see the new, modern ACSA, setting us up for an exciting future,” Mr MacLennan concluded.
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