DCN ARCHIVES

September 10, 2004

Education a priority with GVCA

BY GRANT CAMERON

STAFF WRITER

Employers with the Grand Valley Construction Association (GVCA) now have access to better safety training and more electronic plans room information thanks to unique partnerships established with other organizations.

One of the ventures is a satellite safety group formed by the GVCA in partnership with the Hamilton-Halton Construction Association (HHCA).

The association is also part of a Southwestern Ontario Regional Electronic Plans Room with the London and District Construction Association and the Windsor Construction Association.

“We really believe in education and training,” said Hugh Howie, executive director of the GVCA.

“There’s a real push with us to modernize and keep up to date.”

The satellite safety group, or Regional Construction Safety Group as it’s known, was formed this year.

So far, there are 16 GVCA members in the satellite group. The program is administered by Charlene MacKenzie.

As part of the arrangement, GVCA members who have signed onto the safety group program can attend meetings and get support from their construction association and also benefit from the experience of HHCA members.

“It has worked out very well because when Hamilton members can’t attend their own meeting they come to ours,” said Howie.

According to a statement, safety group program members have proven over the years to have a lower instance of lost-time injuries.

“We encourage our members to work closely with our consultants, the Construction Safety Association of Ontario, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and other safety group members in a network that promotes better health and safety programs.

“The emphasis is on using networking as a tool to develop a series of program elements to improve on over the course of a five-year program.”

Meanwhile, the plans room arrangement allows GVCA members to also view documents on sites posted by the London and Windsor associations.

The GVCA members must still pay plans room fees to the individual associations but they don’t have to pay membership fees.

In the past, GVCA members had to pay both a fee for the plans room and membership.

“We’re all not-for-profit and we’re all out to benefit our members so we thought this was a good idea,” said Howie. “This provides a better service to our members.”

The GVCA plans room is administered by Michael Murray.

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