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SCSA Offers New Ground Disturbance for Construction Course


Ground disturbance activities are a daily occurrence on construction sites of every scale across the province. Laying foundations, creating basements, drilling piles for decks, augering holes for fence posts, installing utility lines like water pipes, sewer lines or electrical cables and creating access for underground systems all begin with groundwork. Ensuring safety during this work is paramount on any project to avoid devastating injuries and costly delays. 

The SCSA recognizes the importance of well-trained professionals who perform groundwork in residential, commercial, and industrial construction and has designed new training specifically for these workers and supervisors. The Ground Disturbance for Construction course meets demand from SCSA members and addresses all applicable provincial and federal legislation. It sets a new standard for ground disturbance safety training in Saskatchewan construction environments.

The one-day, instructor-led course was developed by industry professionals to provide those working in Saskatchewan construction with essential knowledge and skills for conducting safe and efficient ground disturbance work. Key course highlights include:

  1. Definition, Identification and Terminology: Gain a comprehensive understanding of ground disturbance, recognize its significance in construction projects and improve communication within teams by reviewing common terms.
  2. Legislation, Regulations and Responsibilities: Understand the legal and safety requirements in Saskatchewan, as well as the responsibilities of all parties from workers to employers.
  3. Safe Groundwork Practices: Learn the correct steps for performing groundwork, including permitting and different forms of agreements.
  4. Underground Utility Handling: Avoid unnecessary contact by reviewing the steps to accurately locate, identify and mark underground utilities.
  5. Safe Excavation and Backfilling: Undertake proper excavating, trenching and shoring with an understanding of how soil types affect stability to protect personnel and keep projects on track.
  6. Risk Mitigation and Emergency Response Planning: Prevent incidents by identifying common causes and consequences of underground utility contact and the importance of having an emergency response plan in place.

Before groundwork occurs, it’s important to have a well-formed plan in place that prioritizes safety, considers environmental impacts and meets all legal requirements. From home builders to subcontractors on commercial or industrial sites, the Ground Disturbance for Construction course doesn’t just fill a training requirement, it helps equip workers and supervisors to excel in their roles while keeping teams safe and projects secure.

“It’s not just about earth movers and the big machinery you typically think of,” said SCSA president Collin Pullar. “Whether they work in the residential sector or on larger commercial projects, our members will find this new course covers crucial information that is directly relevant to their work. In gaining the knowledge and awareness to carry out ground disturbance activities they’ll ensure the work is done safely and lead their projects to success.” 

The course is $50 for members with registration open now on the SCSA website. There is no prerequisite for the course and certification of training is valid for 3 years. To demonstrate competency, participants complete practical exercises, as well as a final exam requiring an 80% passing grade. 

The course is available year-round online and will be offered seasonally in person. Companies can contact Training Services if they would like to request an additional date or location for their workforce.