On Saturday Nov. 19, I visited a conference for construction safety workers who want to “bridge the gap” in their knowledge about the industry’s health and safety issues. I visited safety product vendors and service consultants at the trade show portion, then went to a seminar called Pre-Inspection to Ensure Your Protection.
A group of safety product demonstrators were stationed at tables where they gave 12-minute demos on what construction safety officers need to look for when inspecting personal protective equipment. The session was led by sales manager Derek Malone, of HazMasters.
“As a safety officer, you’re going to deal with multiple trades coming in with safety equipment,” Derek told me, as he timed the sessions and led attendees to their next PPE demo station.
He said the session “gives a general introduction to some of the things to look for” when they inspect equipment used for gas detection, fall protection, and other types of PPE.
Networking for construction safety pros
Derek explained the spark behind the conference.
“The original intent of Bridging the Gap was to give construction safety officers the vision to see what else they can do – other than taking what they learned in their programs – and continue to evolve it and network with other officers and safety manager who have got to a higher level,” he said. “Some of the concerns were younger CSOs coming out and not knowing what was available as a career path. Sometimes they got to a job and didn’t have the support. They have the ability to speak with somebody here – maybe a manager for a larger company – who says ‘This is the support you should have.’ Then they can see what they can work towards.”
Stay tuned for more stories from people I met at the conference that was sponsored by WorkSafeBC in partnership with the BC Construction Safety Alliance, BC Association of Restoration Contractors, Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, HazMasters, Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC, and BCIT.