Ventana Construction has won ICBA’s prestigious Gord Stewart Health and Safety Innovation Award for their amazing stretching program. The program, which was developed and implemented across all Ventana job sites, aims to reduce musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) by providing workers with information and guidance on best practices for stretching.

MSIs represent roughly 35% of claimed injuries in British Columbia’s construction industry, making them a significant concern for workers and employers alike. To combat this issue, Ventana has implemented a stretching program that not only helps reduce the risk of MSIs but also promotes overall health and wellness for workers.

The stretching program is a full-cycle program that uses technological innovation. It includes a poster with multiple QR codes that enable access to ‘how-to’ videos on best practices for stretching. These videos are available to all workers on the job site, including subtrades, and can be accessed from any mobile device. The program access is also uploaded into the safety app so it’s accessible to all employees at all times.

The stretching program is part of the morning pre-job tasks to start the workday. Supervisors ensure that each morning, prior to commencing work, the team holds a morning meeting outlining tasks, priorities, and pertinent safety-related items. This is followed by a 10-minute stretching routine outlined in the Stretch & Flex poster. Workers are also required to complete their Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) before starting work.

The benefits of stretching programs are many. They help reduce injuries, increase awareness of body positioning and conditioning, improve communication and team building, and make workers more alert when they go out into the field. Select stretches can be done during the workday to help alleviate tightness.

The Gord Stewart Award is given out annually by the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) to recognize excellence in construction workplace health and safety in British Columbia. Ventana receives a trophy and $5,000 cash prize, partially funded by WorkSafeBC.

Ventana Construction’s stretching program is an innovative and effective way to promote workplace health and safety. By utilizing technology and making the program accessible to all workers on the job site, Ventana has taken a significant step in reducing the risk of MSIs and promoting overall health and wellness for workers. ICBA is proud to recognize Ventana’s achievements and hopes that other construction companies will follow their example and prioritize workplace health and safety.