Partnering to ZERO

​​With over 70 per cent of 3.6 million work hours tracked in fiscal 2017 recorded by subcontractors, PCL Toronto’s commitment to mentoring trade partners and clients is essential to achieving our goal of ensuring that every worker returns home safely, every day.

Shortly after the release of PCL’s Construction Smarts and Life Sa​ving Absolutes (personal directives to take responsibility for one’s own safety and the safety of others, and non-negotiable guidelines for safety) members of PCL Toronto’s District Safety Committee challenged each other to think of innovative ways to promote industry engagement.

“Collectively, we decided that an open forum fostering the development of positive relationships between our senior management and trade ownership would promote a collaborative approach to safety excellence that would help to drive the messaging down to the workforce, and in turn, positively influence the culture we all strive for,” says PCL Toronto vice president and district manager Kelly Wallace.

Partnering to Zero

Throughout 2015 and 2016, PCL Toronto’s Health Safety and Environment (HSE) and senior management team conducted Partnering to Zero seminars involving participants from 95 trade partners and senior managers.

“During the seminars, it became evident that the open forum was of great value in enabling collaboration and sharing of best practices between companies, and throughout these discussions, participants collectively agreed that safety should not be proprietary, and that the sharing of safety-related resources would be a catalyst to improve and enhance our industry safety culture,” says Sean Scott, PCL Toronto senior district HSE manager.

Feedback gained from the sessions included:

  • ​Challenges surrounding the understanding and execution of PCL’s HSE program;
  • Requests for easier accessibility to HSE resources and information library; and
  • Requests for ongoing updates and historical trade HSE performance tracking.

Sharing Industry Best Practices

“We listened to the feedback shared by our partners, and came up with an action plan to deliver on what would best serve the interests of all workers,” says Scott.

In response, Scott’s team developed a Project Document Controls (PDC) site to share previously proprietary safety information with its partners, including fully downloadable documents that cover PCL’s HSE operating procedures, industry best practices, legislative requirements and provincial resources; as well as tem​plates and industry best practices to develop and enhance their internal HSE infrastructure.

“We initially shared unique links with secure passwords for our partners in Fall of 2017, however this platform proved to be challenging from an accessibility and administrative perspective. In the spirit of further solidifying our belief that safety is not proprietary we decided to make this available to all of our industry,” shares Scott. 

Toronto’s HSE team continues to strategize on next steps for the platform and an upload function is in the works for trade partners to submit their annual trade contractor evaluation documents and project specific premobilization and monthly safety submittals, which would further streamline and provide both project personnel and trades with superior efficiencies in the administration of HSE requirements.

To date, feedback received has indicated that PCL’s decision to share its safety resources will help to push the industry further and sets a great example for others to follow.

“Together, with a continued focus on safety leadership – to take responsibility for our own safety and the safety of others by requiring all workers to understand and comply with HSE requirements, intervene whenever needed and identify and mitigate hazards prior to activities, we will continue to improve and enhance our industry’s culture, as only by working together as partners and not individual companies will we achieve our shared goal of zero incidents,” concludes Wallace.

You can access PCL Toronto District’s HSE Resource Portal here​.