COCA news: Construction in Ontario

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COCA newsletterHere are some highlights from the latest Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) newsletter: Construction in Ontario

Ontario College of Trades — apprenticeship ratio reviews

Construction In Ontario reported:

“Ratio Reviews:

The College recently released the recommendations from Review Panels for the following Trades:
  1. Ratio Review for Roofers:
The current journeyperson-apprentice ratio for the trade is 1:1, 3:1.
The Review Panel recommended reducing ratios for roofers as per the explanation below.
“The inescapable truth is that very few apprentices are registering and that very few are becoming journeypersons. Although it is not clear that the ratio is the barrier, this is the first review of what section 60 of the statute contemplates will be a review at least once every four years…Accordingly, the new ratio we propose is 1:1 for the first apprentice and then 2:1 for any additional apprentices. A subsequent review will be able to ascertain whether this change has improved the situation.”
2. Ratio Review for Terrazzo, Tile & Marble Setter:
The current journeyperson-apprentice ratio for terrazzo, tile and marble setter is 1:1, 3:1.
The Review Panel recommended reducing ratios for terrazzo, tile and marble setters as per the explanation below.
‘What objective data there is does point to the fact that there is a significant amount of training of apprentices in this trade which takes place with little to no formal classroom instruction, and only through ‘on-the-job’ training by journeypersons, who may also not have had the benefit of classroom learning. This suggests to the Review Panel that there could be an issue in the transmission of the knowledge and skills from journeyperson to apprentice if the current ratio is significantly lowered in too quick a fashion. Based on the reasons set out above, we conclude that a ratio of 1:1, 2:1 for the trade of terrazzo, tile and marble setter is appropriate.'”
Provincial occupational health and safety consultation
Brian Lewis, a director in the Ministry of Labour’s Prevention Office asked the questions and about 60 employer representatives provided the answers at a recent Ministry of Labour consultation on the occupational health and safety system issues.   The feedback from the session will inform the work being done on the provincial occupational health and safety strategy currently under development in the MoL’s Prevention Office. Among the questions posed were:
  1. What can be done to draw vulnerable workers (young workers, new workers, new Canadians and older workers) into the OH&S system?
  2. How can we better engage and support small businesses?
  3. What high risk activities should be the subject of greater focus?
  4. How can system partners and/or other organizations be better aligned to improve service delivery?
  5. What new partnerships could be developed to advance OH&S?
The questions prompted robust discussion and a wide array of options as a full spectrum of industry sectors was represented including farming, hospitals, long term care, auto and manufacturing but none more strongly than construction. The session ended with remarks from Chief Prevention Officer, George Gritziotis who said that training is not the end game and that learning must not end in the classroom. He said that supervisors and lead hands have the responsibility to guide their workers and that the objective is to instill a culture of safety in every workplace in the Province.
Expect a discussion paper on the draft provincial strategy to be released within the next two weeks.
Other newsletter topics include reports on the annual Safe at Work Ontario briefing, and reports on COCA’s annual general meeting. You can access the newsletter online at this link.


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