A new Builders Code aims to combat hazing, bullying and harassment on all construction sites. (Black Press File)

New code aims to crack down on bullying and harassment on construction sites

Victoria workshops on Builders Code will take place Sept. 24 and in January 2020

Construction companies that fail to adopt a new voluntary conduct code risk economic demise, says the president of the British Columbia Construction Association.

Chris Atchison made that comment in discussing a new code aimed at combating hazing, bullying and harassment on all construction sites. The association has recently announced a series of training workshops for the Builders Code, an initiative of the Construction Workforce Equity Project.

The code — a third party resource — advertises itself as a “comprehensive compilation of all the important aspects and policies required to promote and maintain safe and inclusive worksite cultures.”

According to a release, the Builders Code offers employers a wide range of resources, including downloadable policies and posters, online and onsite training for personnel, employer advisors, employer scorecards and awards, and eventually, a crew training app.

By way of background, a large portion of construction companies consist of smaller teams, with over 23,000 companies across B.C. made up of 20 employees or less, and many often lack the human resources or mediation skills required to address inappropriate work behaviour.

RELATED: New role created to mediate on-site harassment for construction employers

Victoria will host two workshops. The first one scheduled for Sept. 24 will be for corporate leaders, executives and human resources personnel. A second workshop is scheduled for January 2020 for site supervisors, forepersons and union business managers.

Atchison said the construction industry knows it needs to change its culture if it wants to align itself with more progressive human resources policies. Such a move is imperative if it wants to attract and retain workers, he said, in pointing out that women make up five per cent of the workforce, yet 50 per cent of women leave construction within two years of taking their first job in the industry.

If the construction industry wants to meet its goal of raising the share of women in the industry to 10 per cent by 2028 as per the code, it needs to better, said Atchison.

RELATED: Annual study shows high satisfaction with B.C. post-secondary schools

He acknowledged that the code is voluntary, but the industry is actively encouraging employers to adopt it because of the financial implications for the industry.

“A skilled tradesperson is a valuable asset, not a gender or demographic,” he said earlier this month. “Worksite behavior is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue.”

A report from BuildForce Canada finds that the province is “facing very tight construction labour markets” over the coming decade thanks to “unprecedented” demand for non-residential construction along with “sustained levels of residential construction” in the Lower Mainland.

“To meet these demands, the non-residential sector alone will need to add 17,000 new workers between 2019 and 2021,” it reads.

About 22 per cent cent of 178,000 employees currently working in the 34 direct trades and occupations monitored by BuildForce Canada are set to retire by 2027.

“If the industry is successful in recruiting from the pool of 32,900 new entrant workers anticipated to be available during this period, increased demand for construction services will still leave the industry with a shortfall of 7,600 workers by 2027,” it reads.

BCAA figures peg the shortfall even higher. For more information, visit builderscode.ca.

Just Posted

Victoria women’s program in critical need of household items for women

Everything from dining sets to beds is needed to keep their programs running

Reported crash backs up Malahat traffic near Tunnel Hill

Traffic is affected in both directions

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

CUPE Local 441 and SD63 have yet to reach an agreement at the bargaining table

Sustainable food advocates gather in Victoria for annual Good Food Summit

Attendees can take part in field trips, hands-on learning, keynote presentations

Rain throughout the day for Tuesday

Plus a look ahead at the week

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Report predicts drug resistance likely to kill 400,000 Canadians by 2050

This increase is expected to cost Canada 396,000 lives, $120 billion in hospital expenses

Victoria Jazz Orchestra concert raises funds for the Single Parents’ Resource Centre

Maria Manna on tap for the Nov. 16 performance in Victoria

Renowned men’s chorus ‘Back by Popular Demand’ in Victoria

One of Canada’s premier singing ensembles kicks off its 39th season on Nov. 16

Mexican culinary celebration fills Victoria Public Market

Taco, Tequila and Margarita Fiesta takes over the Victoria Public Market the evening of Nov. 16

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Most Read