Remembering December 2020

December is usually a month that people look forward to, a month that is synonymous with family and joy and, above all, celebration. Everyone is looking forward to the time off with family and generally speaking, people are happy.

So why am I forcing everyone to recall the tragic events that occurred in the construction sector in December of 2020? In a word: perspective.

I wrote an article in December of 2020 titled, “Everyone please hit the pause button and refocus on safety.” This article was a rallying cry and a call for help and was directly prompted by the series of tragic fatalities that befell the entire construction industry during that month.

Although the construction industry is expansive and covers multiple sectors, we are all connected and know one another in some form or another. Our industry shares common bonds, experiences, a shared workforce, issues, and above all, pride and passion. We also share in the tragedy and pain of losing anyone to a workplace accident.

Just a year ago, the OGCA implored the collective construction industry to please focus on the people that we have lost. Now again, I want everyone to please remember that those individuals were not statistics but instead our coworkers, our friends and our family.

This year, as a tribute to those that we lost during that tragic month, please remember the families of the victims and make sure your thoughts and prayers are with them all.

As part of that article, I asked that the construction industry “internalize that focus, and realize that safety is the most important thing for everybody because as one big family, we all want everyone going home at the end of the day.”

In total, there were eight (8) construction deaths that occurred last December and in order not to repeat the past, the OGCA, in direct alignment with the LOC, strongly support the GFL’s “Get Home Safe for the Holidays Campaign.”

What is this campaign all about?

If you are an LOC member, you read in the latest newsletter that GFL is launching this week-long campaign at the start of December. The purpose is to stop and regroup. To remind ourselves what’s important. And above all, to focus on working as a team and to look out for each other to make sure everyone gets home safe for the holidays.

GFL, the LOC and the OGCA will be asking all workers, employees, contractors, and industry partners to do the same: to take a pledge of commitment, across all our job site and work locations from Monday, December 6 – Friday, December 10, 2021.

The pledge is simple: “I pledge to never compromise my safety or the safety of my fellow workers, to ensure we all get home safe.”

Please join in the campaign and refocus everyone in your company to ensure that they get the opportunity to get home safely for the holidays.

In addition to supporting this campaign, the OGCA will be distributing a short-pre-recorded video titled, “Building Resilience in Uncertain Times.” Access the video here: Building Resilience in Uncertain Times.

This eleven (11) minute video has been provided to the OGCA members through our work with Medcor Canada, and is a reminder that you are not alone during the stresses that this past year, or two, have doled out to us as an industry, as a society as well as individually.

The video reminds all of us that instead of focusing on what we cannot control, like the continued restrictions brought on by an ever-changing global pandemic, to instead focus on what we can control, our thoughts and our actions. The video reminds us all to refocus, recharge and recover. It notes that, “small changes today can make the biggest impact down the road.”

This video’s message is directly aligned with the GFL campaign. Both speak to the need to refocus our efforts on what is important to us all. Both of these initiatives remind each and every one of us that the true prize at the end of another long and hard year is what December should be synonymous with: family and joy and celebration!

This is the perspective with which I would like all of us to enter December 2021: cognizant of the past and prepared to make this December the safest yet.

The OGCA would like to wish all of our members, stakeholders and the entire construction industry a safe, happy and healthy holiday season! And that you are all able to get home safe for the holiday!

Should any of our members want more information about the GFL campaign or Medcor Canada, or if you require any other type of assistance from the OGCA, please contact me directly at giovanni@ogca.ca or via phone at 905.671.3969.