Advantages of Having Construction Safety Certifications

Every year the National Work Injury Statistics Program (NWISP), reports on injuries and fatalities at the workplace in Canada. In 2022, the industrial, electrical and construction trades had 22,997 lost time claims and 58 fatalities. With construction work on the rise across the country, occupational health and safety is paramount. 

While it is easy to start off in the construction industry as an apprentice, progressing in your career not only requires experience but also valid training and certification. Construction safety certifications open opportunities to work in specialty positions and can help you diversify your skill set. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting your career in the industry, having construction safety certifications can significantly enhance your expertise, credibility, and overall safety practices. Read on to learn more about the importance of construction safety and some of the construction safety certifications that employers are looking for. 

Enhanced Safety Knowledge

While wearing a hard hat and a harness seem intuitive, construction safety certifications involve so much more. Many of these safety certification courses provide comprehensive training on industry best practices, standards, and regulations, so you are up to date on the latest knowledge in the field. You learn to spot potential hazards and adopt preventive measures to create a safer workplace for you and your colleagues.

Compliance with Regulations

If you have been thinking about branching out into your trade on your own, it’s vital that you are compliant with the latest regulations. Staying informed means the risk of legal complications, penalties, or project shutdowns is reduced, and your new business can flourish.

Increased Productivity

Knowing that their work environment is safe, allows people to work better and be more productive. If you work in a supervisory position, knowing that you are in charge can help your team shine. As a bonus, you can ensure that your team is at a lower risk of injuries. Great work performance can lead to bigger and better things!

Professional Development

Investing in safety certifications that are relevant to your trade or role in the construction industry shows employers that you are proactive and conscientious. Holding safety certifications can help you advance in your role, obtain supervisory positions, or pave the way for a completely new career in the construction industry. Naturally, all these often come with better salaries and perks too. 

Canadian Construction Safety Certifications

Traditional post-secondary education is not the only way you can advance your career in the construction industry. Many construction safety certifications are short courses that require little to no time off work, with theory classes conducted online. Some require a minimum amount of work experience, while others are a great starting point for those starting their careers in the construction industry. Additionally, some employers may also be willing to subsidize or fund these certification courses for eligible employees. 

Some construction safety certifications are accepted nationwide while others are region-specific to comply with provincial occupational health and safety regulations. We’ve looked at some of these in detail below.

  • The Canadian Construction Association’s (CCA) Gold Seal Certification

The (CCA) Gold Seal Certification is designed for estimators, forepersons, owner’s construction managers, project managers, safety practitioners, and superintendents. While the coursework is designed for their specific roles, they encourage safety training in addition to this. Participants can claim credits for safety training taken including first aid/CPR, WHMIS, COR, and more.

It is an ideal certification for established professionals in the industry.

  • WHMIS Certification

WHMIS stands for the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. This certification is meant for anyone who works with hazardous materials. The course educates them on the proper handling, storage, and disposal of dangerous substances. The WHMIS course is offered by many organizations and takes an hour to complete. It has no prerequisites for signing up and you receive your certification after successfully passing a multiple-choice exam. 

It’s a great certification for those entering the construction industry.

  • Occupational First Aid (OFA)

Work Safe BC has strict regulations regarding first aid workers and has developed a set of first aid courses with three levels. They are as follows:

  • OFA Level 1 Basic level first aid training and certification
  • OFA Level 2 Intermediate level first aid training and certification
  • OFA Level 3 Advanced level of first aid training and certification

Construction sites are required to have OFA-certified personnel present with the level depending on the work being carried out. OFA certificate courses have no prerequisites other than being at least 16 years old. Holding an OFA certification can help you apply for specialized jobs in the construction industry and command a better salary, even if you are just starting. You can find a list of approved OFA training providers on the Work Safe BC website.

  • Construction Safety Officer Certification

The Construction Safety Officer (CSO) Certificate is obtained by registering with the Applied Science Technicians and Technologists of BC (ASTTBC). This certificate allows you to work as a CSO on construction sites. Construction Safety Officers are involved in training new workers, identifying hazards, and ensuring safety protocols are followed on a work site.

Several institutes offer the necessary training to become a CSO. However, you may need some previous coursework or on-site experience to be eligible for training programs.

  • Specialized Certifications

Apart from these, there are several specialized certifications that you can obtain depending on your job profile including forklift training, fall protection, confined spaces, and more. 

Many of these certifications need to be renewed via continuing education classes periodically. Pursuing certifications that align with your career goals can help you improve your skills and advance your career.

Whether you’re looking for temporary or permanent jobs, building your experience is key to a successful career. Employment Specialists can help you find your dream job in the construction sector that aligns with your interests, skills, and career goals. 

Visit our offices today in Vancouver, New Westminster, and Abbotsford, and let us guide you on a transformative journey toward your dream job.