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Training Tuesday – in touch with new psychological safety requirements

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New rules in British Columbia allow workers’ rights to file WorksafeBC claims for mental disorders predominantly caused by their jobs. This same legislation also created responsibilities on all employers to manage risks to employee mental health, and specifically required employers to have a system to prevent bullying and harassment.

In January 2013, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) released a new national standard called ‘CSA-Z1003 Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace’. While still a ‘voluntary standard’ it is clearly evident that these changes are coming, and that employers must take action.

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Construction has a lot at stake in coming provincial election

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British Columbians will be headed to the polls to choose their next provincial government in a few weeks, which is why the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association has come out with a newsletter aimed at reminding people about the NDP record in the 1990s – and what’s at risk if they return to power.

“Some people want to push the NDP’s record into the past. But there’s truth to Winston Churchill’s line that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it,” said ICBA President Philip Hochstein. “Our latest Construction Monitor newsletter looks at both the history and the kind of policies and economic accomplishments at risk with an NDP win.”

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Dig into free breakfast with BCCGA

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Our friends over at the British Columbia Common Ground Alliance have an offer you just can’t refuse – free breakfast at their Lower Mainland Contractors’ Breakfast slated for April 5.

The session targets everyone in the business of ground disturbing – excavating contractors, road crews,  public works crews, landscapers, fence installers, sign companies, farmers, homeowners. Along with the free breakfast, attendees will learn about how they can keep themselves and their communities safe by following proper ground disturbance procedures.

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Training Tuesday – beef up your negotiation skills

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We don’t get what we deserve – we get what we negotiate. That’s why learning how to handle negotiations is a key construction skill. Many individuals often fail in negotiation not because they are unable to get an agreement, but because they walk away from the table when they could have done much better.

In this seminar participants will learn a proven, practical step-by-step approach to win-win negotiations and how to protect themselves from “hardball” negotiators.

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Federal budget invests in infrastructure

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Today’s budget tabled by federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has a focus on job-building infrastructure projects.

That’s great news for the construction industry here in B.C. and across the country because these kinds of investments keep companies busy. It’s also great news since they are often the kind of projects that help build the overall economy, something that benefits the industry greatly.

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Fixing licencing, permitting

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Business in Vancouver has run a pair of solid articles in recent weeks over the rampant problems with the licencing and permitting process at the City of Vancouver.

Former city councillor Peter Ladner laid out some of the challenges in a column calling for changes to the system. His column, which you can read here, lays out the kind of problems that hike construction costs and add frustrating delays.

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Training Tuesday – Preventing Falls

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Contractors know that the key to any job is having the right tools. The same applies to preventing avoidable workplace falls – tools and knowledge can go a long way in preventing these needless accidents.

Our Fall Protection Awareness Training slated for April 12 in Nanaimo is designed to provide participants the basic required knowledge to understand and use equipment safely. The course will offer an understanding of the requirements for fall protection systems as well as the hazards associated with working at elevations.

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Mapping out retirement options

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One of the core services at ICBA is our suite of retirement and employee benefit plans offered through ICBA Benefit Services Ltd. With changes in the wind around the creation of new Pooled Retirement Pension Plans in B.C. it’s important for companies to look at all their options.

ICBA Benefit Services Ltd President Gord Stewart mapped out those options in a column published today in the Journal of Commerce. You can read the article here.

BC union fights based on Hotel California approach

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Interesting column in the Vancouver Sun today about the tight ties between the NDP and the labour movement. Though many readers may shake their heads at how these tight ties qualify as news, read on.

What’s at issue is conflict in the labour family. The Licensed Practical Nurses wanted to move from the Hospital Employees Union to the B.C. Nurses Union shows. That means the BCNU is now in the bad books of all the other unions – and the BC NDP. As the Vaughn Palmer points out, NDP Adrian Dix was as noticeable in his absence at the BCNU convention as he was noticed at the HEU confab.

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