Backgrounder: 2023 ACSA Conference

November 20, 2023

Alberta Construction Safety Association {ACSA) hosts a two-day provincial conference with Canadian industry experts to discuss pressing mental health concerns and well-being in the workplace.

Who is the ACSA?

The Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA) is a uniquely member-centric, industry­ funded organization and the largest certifying partner in Alberta, with over 54,000 member companies. We have been driving safety and business excellence in a high-risk industry for 35 years – where passion for safety meets expertise.

We provide safety training, resources and advisory services and administer two nationally recognized health and safety designations, the National Health and Safety Administrator (NHSA) and National Construction Safety Officer (NCSO), and the Certificate of Recognition (COR) and Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (SECOR) programs.

What is the ACSA 2023 Conference?

The ACSA 2023 Conference is an annual, two-day event for our members and partners to share foundational learnings and experiences to improve workplace health and safety in Alberta’s construction industry. It is an opportunity for people in the industry to hear from keynote speakers and experts and participate in discussions on issues and topics relevant to improving workplace safety culture.

The ACSA 2023 Conference is on November 22 and 23 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Calgary.

What is the theme of this year’s Conference?

The theme for the ACSA 2023 Conference is Healthy Minds, Safe Workplaces: Constructing a Safety Culture. The Conference is focused on improving our workforce’s physical and psychological health and safety, fostering a holistic culture of safety in the construction industry.

This year is extra special as we are also celebrating 35 years of providing safety training, programs, products, and services to the construction industry in Alberta.

Why the focus on psychological health and safety?

Alberta construction workers operate in a demanding, high-risk, and highly competitive environment that is experiencing higher levels of mental health issues compared to other industries. They also face increasing demand amidst a shortage of skilled tradespeople.

The ACSA wants to raise awareness and identify psychosocial hazards in the construction industry so that, together, we can develop practical strategies and tools to support the safety and well-being of employees in the workplace.

What can attendees expect at this year’s Conference?

ACSA is collaborating with industry and subject matter experts to provide our members with the best tools, resources and information on improving physical and psychological health and safety at work. Together, we will share foundational learnings, lead insightful discussions, and deliver practical and actionable takeaways.

Over two days, attendees will engage in keynote sessions, hands-on workshops, and networking opportunities.

What is the line-up of speakers for this year’s Conference?

The ACSA 2023 Conference features a variety of speakers and panelists who, together, will help us better understand our roles and responsibilities in improving psychological health and safety in the construction industry.

Liz Horvath, manager of Psychological Health and Safety with the Opening Minds division of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, where she leads the development and implementation of training and services to support organizations with integrating psychological health and safety into existing programs. Liz will also draw from her role and experience in developing our National Standard and share practical solutions with measurable impact.

Allan Kehler is a mental health advocate, international keynote speaker and best-selling author. His TEDx talk on men and mental health has gained international attention. Allan has taught various college mental health courses for nearly a decade while working as an addiction counsellor and clinical case manager. Today, he is a highly sought-after speaker on mental health and wellness topics. Having persevered through his challenges with mental health and addiction, he speaks from experience.

ACSA Partners Panel, hosted by ACSA Chief Executive Officer Mark Hoosein, will feature key industry partners in a panel discussion on roles and responsibilities in improving psychological health and safety at work. Partners include our keynote speakers and:

  • Andrew Ross, CEO, Clark Builders
  • Dr. Chris McLeod, Director of Partnerships for Work, Health and Safety, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Karina Thomas, OHS Prevention Services, Government of Alberta
  • Michael Pietrus, Director of Opening Minds and Mental Health First Aid Canada, Mental Health Commission of Canada

For a complete list of our speakers at the ACSA 2023 Conference, visit­ Conference/speakers

See the Conference schedule for a list of breakout sessions, or visit­ conference/program.

What can attendees hope to take away from the Conference?

The ACSA 2023 Conference will provide attendees with foundational learnings, insightful discussions, and practical and actionable takeaways to foster a holistic culture of safety in the construction industry, addressing physical and psychological health and safety. Attendees will also expand their support network.

Alberta Construction Safety Association

What is the schedule for this year’s Conference?

The ACSA 2023 Conference offers two full days of speakers, breakout sessions, and panels for attendees to participate. The schedule below is a snapshot of some Conference activities


  • 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Registration and breakfast
  • 8:30 – 9 a.m. Opening remarks
  • 9 – 10 a.m. Keynote speaker, Allan Kehler
  • 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Breakout sessions
    • Burnout and the importance of leaders, workers and organizational-wide participation
    • Exploring strategies and solutions for small and micro construction firms that can improve health and safety at work
    • Changing how we see mental illness: What you and your leaders can do to support employees
  • 1 – 2:30 p.m. Repeat of breakout sessions
  • 3 – 4 p.m. Keynote speaker, Liz Horvath
  • 4 – 4:30 p.m. Closing remarks
  • 4:30 – 6 p.m. Networking


  • 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
  • 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. ACSA Partners Panel
  • 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Breakout sessions
    • Human Organizational Performance (HOP): How employers of all sizes can implement HOP
    • Psychological injuries: supporting a worker’s safe and timely return to work
    • Conquering compliance challenges and related construction case law review
    • ACSA Action plans: An alternative to maintaining your COR Certification
  • 1:30 – 2:30 Repeat of breakout sessions
  • 2:45 – 3:30 p.m. ACSA updates
  • 3:30 – 4 p.m. ACSA awards
  • 4 – 4:15 p.m. Closing remarks

For more information, please contact:

Normel Martinez, Corporate Communications Manager
587-989-0545 I I

Kelly Vail, Corporate Communications I 780-965-1965 I

About ACSA: Established in 1988, the Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA) is a uniquely member-centric, industry-funded organization and the largest certifying partner in Alberta, driving safety and business excellence in a high-risk industry and serving more than 54,000 members.

Share this article:
Subscribe to our newsletter