The Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance (SCGA) has announced a new online program aimed at preventing ground disturbance incidents in the province.
The program, in partnership with the Saskatchewan Safety Council and the Heavy Construction Safety Association of Saskatchewan, will be provided free for youths aged 18-21 looking to enter the construction industry.
SCGA President Derrick Mann says the program is the first of its kind in North America.
“It’s a big deal to be able to help young people coming out of school wanting to get into construction, or other types of work, to be able to take this online program, it’s free,” said Mann. “It’ll give them the base knowledge to start asking the right questions once you get out to a site, this gets you to orientate yourself around the basics around damage prevention and ground disturbance.”
Mann says it was important for the SCGA to offer the program free of charge, adding it’ll make it more accessible for anyone wanting to take it.
“It’s all our responsibility to help educate, and sometimes that cost, even though it’s small, is a barrier to some people and this is a way to get them able to get engaged, start understanding what’s out there without having to put any money up front,” said Mann. “It allows someone to be able to apply for their job and have this on their resume as a good start to that without having to put any dollars up front.”
Mann says the program spurred out of the want to eliminate otherwise preventable incidents, adding line hits are still way too common in Saskatchewan.
“We still have 700 line hits a year, this last year in Saskatchewan, 700,” said Mann. “That should be zero, there’s no reason for those line hits. We’re trying to look at it from a lot of different angles, and the youth is a big part of that.”