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April 9, 2019

Builders Code hopes to combat harassment, bullying in the construction industry

 

 

As blogged in the Canadian HR Reporter, if there’s one thing the construction industry understands, it’s building to code. So when it came to issues around harassment and bullying in the workplace — and a disappointing participation rate for women — the industry thought it made sense to introduce another code.

The Builders Code is a new program in British Columbia that defines an “acceptable worksite” and provides employers with tools, training and resources to improve and promote safe and productive worksite behaviour.

The code widens the definition of safety beyond physical hazards to include stress or distraction caused by discrimination, bullying, hazing or harassment. A Builders Code worksite “will seek to be free from behaviour that threatens the stability of work conditions including job performance, health, well-being, safety, productivity and the efficiency of workers,” according to the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA), which is leading the initiative in collaboration with the province and industry partners.

Builders across the country build to code all the time, said Chris Atchison, president of the BCCA in Victoria.

“So what we were trying to do is to make sure that we could build an acceptable workplace strategy that spoke to employers in an effort to bring about the culture change that was necessary to increase not just the attraction, but the retention and success of tradeswomen in construction.”

It’s almost like safety 2.0, he said.

“The hazing, bullying and harassment of any worker on your jobsite represents a safety issue and a concern that needs to be addressed. So anytime somebody is harassed or bullied or treated in a way that makes them uncomfortable, you are increasing risk by virtue of the stresses that come to the person who’s been directly affected; or indirectly, other people on the crew who might be distracted or aggrieved by what’s going on. And that causes greater distraction and propensity for workplace accidents.”

The new code also addresses the issue of productivity, said Atchison.

Keep reading in the Canadian HR Reporter

 


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