May 2021                                                                    FRANÇAIS | ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ
Construction Safety
Reminders and Resources

Summer construction season has arrived. At this time of year many employers take on new work, new employees, new work conditions, and entirely new work sites. Whether your company works in construction or not, think about how summer construction work might impact your workplace. Is construction happening in or around the office or work site? Are there road closures or road work happening on the way to your workplace? Does your job have a similar seasonal increase in workload? There are resources in this edition that will help your business.

  • First Aid Legislation Changes - In 2021, changes were made to the First Aid Legislation in Nunavut and the NWT. The legislation changes have an impact on the type and number of first aid kits required on your site, and the number of individuals requiring training.  In addition, a risk assessment now needs to be completed for every work site.  Make sure you are using updated information for completing your first aid requirements. The WSCC has resources to help you implement these legislative changes.
  • High Hazard Work Notification - Occupational Health and Safety Regulations in Nunavut and the NWT says that you must provide notification to the Chief Safety Officer a reasonable amount of time before high hazard work starts. In the regulations, new operation in construction is one of the identified forms of high hazard work. Contact the Chief Safety Officer today if you have new construction work starting.
  • Clearance Request Letters - If you are hiring any contractors or sub contractors this season, make sure to get a Letter of Good Standing from the WSCC before you start work. You can obtain this letter through WSCC Connect. Under the Workers' Compensation Act(s), you can be held liable for any unpaid assessment for the contractors that you hire. When the project is complete, obtain your Final Clearance to release yourself from liability concerning your contractors' payments.
  • Driving Safely - For every road construction project, there is usually one or more Traffic Control Person(s) directing the flow of traffic. Make sure anyone driving for your company drives safely in and around construction sites to protect the safety of the workers helping to improve our roads. It is also a great reminder for all staff that commute to and from work.
  • Training and Collaboration - When the work or the work site moves or is altered, remember to train workers on new hazards or changes to the tasks and work site. Host regular safety meetings, and encourage workers to raise questions or concerns. Safety is a team effort, and front line workers are the best resource you have for improving your safety program.

The WSCC has tools and resources to help you keep safety top of mind on your construction sites.
  • OHS App - A perfect tool for anyone doing offsite work! This app keeps safety legislation and resources at your fingertips. Once downloaded, the app works offline and keeps the resources you need right on your phone.
  • Codes of Practice - Codes of practice are documents that summarizes and explains NWT and Nunavut safety legislation. They highlight the responsibilities of employers, supervisors, and workers, and provide templates and resources to help improve your safety program.
  • Safety Bulletins - Post these sheets around the office, or email them out to your employees. They can serve as reminders for important safety subjects.
  • Toolbox Talks - If you ever need inspiration for your morning safety meetings, these toolbox talks are for you! These guided conversations cover several specific topics, many of which are connected to construction work. Make sure to add any site-specific safety notes.
If you have any questions or would like an on site inspection, contact our Prevention unit today. A Safety Inspector will be happy to support you in creating a safer workplace.

New, Casual, and Young Workers
Resources for new and returning workers

Whether they are working for one week, one month, or someone that you are hiring for the foreseeable future, every worker has the right to a safe workplace. Seasonal work has many types of flexible employment options: permanent workers, apprentices, new, and temporary workers. These workers are statistically more likely to experience incident or injury simply because they are new to the job or work site.

Apprentices and young construction workers

Anyone on your work site that is under 25 is considered a young worker. Young workers can be a blank slate. They don't have years of work experience to help make safe decisions and recognize common workplace hazards. WSCC has a body of resources created for young workers, written in a way to guide them on the fundamentals of safety. You can use these tools to help support your site-specific training. 
  • Young Worker Certificate Course - A 2-hour online course that will cover the basics of safety. A great way to start their training.
  • Young Worker Toolbox Talks - Construction - These instructor and student guides cover topics related to construction work. You can have young workers review the student guides and use the instructor guide to start a conversation. This type of mentorship will be foundational for that worker's future career, and will set a standard for how young workers think about workplace safety.
  • Orientation Guide and Checklist - The WSCC has an orientation guide for new and young workers. It outlines the training process for a worker who is new to the work force. Included is a checklist that you can use to keep a record of the worker's training, which you can keep in the worker's employment file as a safety record.
New and Casual Workers

While they may have previous work experience, you should never assume that a new or casual worker knows the safety procedures specific to your work site. Provide thorough on the job training to all workers entering your workplace. Many of the young worker materials can also be used for new and casual workers, but the WSCC's website also has a section dedicated to Health and Safety that has lists of training providers, printable resources, and templates for documents that may be useful for your business.

Whether new to the work force, or just new to your workplace, all workers have a right to the support required to make sure they can do their job safely every day.

New: Code of Practice
Hoists, Cranes, Lifting Devices, and Rigging

WSCC has just released a new Code of Practice outlining the responsibilities, training requirements, safe operating procedures, and inspection and maintenance of hoists, cranes, lifting devises, and rigging. As with all of our Codes of Practice, this document clearly outlines the role of the employer, the supervisor, and the worker who is operating the crane. It goes into specific safety requirements under legislation, and provides templates and checklists that can be used on your work sites.

Information for Northern Employers

We work and live in a unique part of the world, and safety is important on every work site. This Code has been prepared directly from safety legislation for Nunavut and the NWT. As well, the WSCC has included sections to make sure you know how to work safely in the extreme weather conditions we experience. There is a section on working in cold climate, which highlights the impacts on workers and machines in negative temperatures, including reductions to the operating load sizes.

You can find this Code with the WSCC's other codes on the Codes of Practice page of our website. If you have any questions, or wish to speak directly with a Safety Inspector, contact us today.

Safety Spotlight
seasonal work and fatigue

Construction season in the North often means trying to fit as much work as possible into a few short months with warmer weather. Long shift work, combined with the physically draining work of construction, means workplace fatigue becomes a hazard for workers. Fatigue puts us at greater risk of incidents and injuries and is a form of impairment. It is important that workers stay alert during their shift.

3 ways to prevent fatigue in your workplace

Being tired happens, we all live busy lives and work hard. What WSCC is asking is to have a conversation about when tired becomes TOO tired. Fatigue will lead to higher risk of incidents and is often a contributing factor to workplace injuries. What you should consider:
  1. Have a regular check-in with staff. Encourage them to do a self-check-in and report back if they aren't feeling able to do their job safely. If they are experiencing fatigue, have a list of tasks ready that workers can do until it is safe for them to take on their regular tasks.
    • In extreme cases, you may need to make the call that workers need to go home until they have recovered. Follow this up with a conversation on how to work to prevent this from happening in the future.
  2. Change up tasks and encourage breaks. If a worker is doing the same thing for hours on end, they are more likely to experience fatigue. Fatigue could refer to mental fatigue OR physically fatigue from tasks requiring physical exertion or involving loud noises, extreme light, or vibration. Breaks and changing activities are key for preventing incidents from occurring.
  3. Have reasonable working schedules. Deadlines can be tight, and the work is important and needs to be completed. However, it is important that workers have enough time to rest, relax, and take care of personal needs between shifts. Have a schedule that allows workers to take care of their personal health and well being, because it will impact their energy and alertness at work.
Seasonal construction work is important for keeping our local communities functioning! Make sure that workers are being taken care of during the influx of work. Healthy and fit workers are vital for our communities. Reach out to the WSCC if you want to discuss workplace impairment, and how to prevent it in your workplace.

WSCC Office Closures

WSCC Offices are closed for Indigenous Peoples' Day on Monday, June 21st, and will reopen on Tuesday, June 22nd at 8:30 AM.

To report a serious workplace injury or incident, call 1-800-661-0792.   /  1.800.661.0792   *  /  1.877.404.4407