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How to Protect yourself on the Road - The Life of a Trucker

It is always important to be aware of one's surroundings, no matter how tough you think you are. There are potential risks out there for both men and woman, so it is vital to discuss safety for all people and for all drivers.


If you didn’t know already, rest areas can be very dangerous at night. For your safety, avoid getting out of the truck in dark areas. Always carry your phone with you and keep a good look over your shoulder if you have to get out in the dark. Be careful when walking between trailers, someone can be hiding under the trailer or on a catwalk.


Make sure to stay visible when you are out and about, avoiding getting hit in a parking lot; and it can potentially deter assailants.  Wearing reflective clothing allows you to be seen i.e. if someone did attack you and confrontation resulted in you being left laying on the ground, it would be much easier to see you if you're wearing reflective clothing.


Make your truck a safe place. Cover your windows when you are sleeping. Keep your valuables out of sight and always lock your doors. Always be prepared, be alert,  and have a plan if something were to go wrong. If you do get yourself in a situation where you are being attacked, make plenty of noise and remember that everyday items can be used as weapons for self defence.


In conclusion, not everyone is a dangerous person but know that danger is out there.  Keep your mind open and stay alert if something were to go wrong.


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Why Construction Equipment Maintenance Matters

Is it easy to avoid equipment failure if you keep on top of regular maintenance. It can help avoid project stalls, missed due dates and can save businesses hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.


Regular equipment maintenance isn’t cheap. But your money is going to tuning up the equipment and seeing if anything needs to be replaced. By the end of the year, you’ll find that you spent less on your equipment than you had in previous years.


Safety is a top priority. By implementing regular maintenance, you improve the safety not just of the equipment but of the job-site. Preventative equipment maintenance along with proper training will help prevent injuries, it increases equipment efficiency and increases safety on the job site. You will have fewer set-back days which will increase your profit. Preventative maintenance checks for wear and damage, checks alignments and it helps keep all the parts working efficiently.


Regardless of whether the equipment seems to be running fine, it is  important to adhere to equipment preventative maintenance schedules. So the next time you consider postponing maintenance, remember, you don't want your equipment failing on a time sensitive project. Keep your jobs running smoothly, invest the time and money on regular maintenance for your construction equipment.  

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Tips to Increase Productivity in Construction

Productivity can be a problem in any workplace or life situation. In the construction industry it isn't any different. But there is hope for work place productivity improvements, because even if staff and supervisors made the smallest improvements business can increase and accidents can decrease.


Keep these tips in mind to help you through your construction project, whether big or small.


1. Improve communication

Communication between workers and supervisors is a top priority. Mistakes can be prevented and deadlines can be properly managed if there is good dialogue between staff. Also, proper communication can help avoid workplace accidents.


2. Create a detailed task list

Before you begin your work day it is a great idea to create a list of tasks. It is important to keep track of what is going on and when, making sure nothing gets forgotten.


3. Keep track of your inventory

Know how much stock you have. It will make it easier to order when you run out and also you will be well aware if stock goes missing.


4. Keep an organized workplace

Help prevent accidents by keeping your construction site organized and free of any hazards. You will find that jobs will get completed faster since you know where everything is.


5. Delegate Tasks

Each person has a special skill set and if you delegate the tasks correctly than you can use those skill sets to your advantage.


6. Train your employees

Invest in your employees and train them to their highest potential. A well-prepared employee will increase productivity, add value and safety.


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Substance Abuse in Construction

Regardless of age or gender, the construction industry has one of the highest rates of substance abuse and substance use disorders compared to other industries .


The good news is that the rates of substance abuse has dropped from previous years, but still, why is there such a high rate of substance abuse in construction? 

According to the book Addiction at Work: Tackling Drug Abuse and Misuse in the Workplace, there are probably several reasons that construction workers have relatively higher rates of substance use disorders.


Construction workers typically work long hours during the construction season. Individuals working more than 50 hours per week are far more likely to engage in alcohol use and substance abuse than individuals working less than 50 hours per week.
The nature of the work and the attitudes of many of the workers are similar to the “work hard and play hard” philosophy of this particular social group.


Since construction can be seasonal employment,  many workers may have long periods of unemployment. This may result in boredom or feelings of job insecurity.


In the construction industry safety is always a concern and a priority. Individuals with substance use disorders  increase the risk for accidents, have poor quality of work and drive up costs due to absenteeism.


How can companies help those battling with substance abuse? Policies regarding substance use on the job should be clearly stated. The consequences for abusing substances on the job should be outlined and understood by all workers. The goal should be to make sure that individuals do not come to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or while recovering from the effects of drugs and alcohol.


Addiction is a complex problem that affects every aspect of your life. Overcoming addiction requires reaching out for support and making changes to the way you live, deal with problems, and relate to others. Recovery is within your reach. And remember, you don’t have to go at it alone.


Resources in Canada


Clik Here, to see a partial list of mental health and addictions information resources.


Please call the Information and Referral service at 1-866-531-2600 for more information.



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What makes Construction Workers one of the Happiest on the Job

Are you currently looking for yet another reason to consider a career in construction? Well, according to Fast Company article outlining which industries have the happiest employees, construction leads the way for happiest workers!


A career in construction can have its own challenges, but it is no surprise that construction workers are proud of what they do. Having the ability to point to a new bridge, new city landmark or new home etc.. and say "I built that" is a reward in itself.


Training programs and field work while on the job prepare students and workers so they can nail down their techniques and have a successful day ahead. There are also mentorships available and continuous coaching while on the job which helps build confidence and skill.  These opportunities will only increase as the industry looks for ways to meet the growing demand for skilled workers.


There is a lot of growth in the construction field and you are sure to find a rewarding and fulfilling career path if you enter into this skilled trade.  If you are new to the construction industry and looking to get an foot into an industry that values field experience, training in a registered college is a great way to start in your new career path. Canada Heavy Equipment College offers  trucking and construction courses that get you training you need.


There are many different factors that leads to happiness in the workplace. A combination of proper training, a sense of accomplishment,  to respect among co-workers and employers. Construction offers all these and more!

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The Facts and Hazards of Demolition

Some may say that demolition is the most exciting and quick phase of construction. But you do need to do it safely and with a sound technical assessment, regardless of what structure it is.


There are many  factors to consider when dismantling, wrecking, or destroying buildings and structures, such as:

  • Hidden structural materials that may need special handling—including asbestos, silica, lead, and other hazardous chemicals or substances
  • Structural design variations
  • Any form of approved or unapproved modification that changed the building’s original design
  • Undetermined strength or weakness of post-tensioned concrete and other construction materials
  • Hazards due to the corresponding demolition methods

Also, there are certain hazards that make this line of work particularly dangerous on its own. Some unpredictable factors include electrocution, toxic substances and fall hazards.


Don't get us wrong, demolition can be an adventure in itself, but just be careful when your in the demo process. It is important to stay safe, have a clear strategy, be aware of your surroundings, and of course, have fun out there!



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Limit your Distractions while Driving… They can Kill!

It is important to know what can distract you from the road. Being aware of your potential distractions  can help prevent accidents that could ruin your career, or worse, cause harm to others. Make sure to limit your distractions while driving. There are common driving distractions such as cell phones, eating while driving, screaming kids in the back. These are known as external distractions and can be easy to identify.


All around us are situations that could potentially take our eyes off the road. From changing the music to checking out billboards to even looking at the scenery - these all can divert our eyes from the road. But there are other types of distractions called internal distractions that one must be mentally prepared for. Such as, did you get enough sleep, are you upset about an argument, are you feeling alright? Any type of mental distraction can affect your ability to drive.


New drivers in particular need to watch themselves as they can become their own worst enemy. New drivers tend to over think their actions and thus lose confidence in their ability to drive. It's important not too dwell on your mistakes, learn from them and move on. Once the new drivers let go of their anxiety they can make way for developing their new skills confidently and can become open minded to continuous learning.


To the new and experienced drivers,  keep in mind that you have nothing to prove, trust in your skill as a driver. New drivers, understand that your fears about driving truck are normal, learning new skills take time and don't let your anxieties take over. Keep your distractions to low, keep your head held high and allow your confidence to build as a new driver.

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Recycled Aggregates for Roads - Moving Towards a Sustainable future

Recycling concrete provides sustainability in several different ways. The simple act of recycling the concrete reduces the amount of material that must be land filled. In Ontario municipalities are responsible for the care and maintenance of the roads. When those roads are replaced or repaired, large amounts of aggregate material must be dealt with.


More contractors than ever before are turning towards a sustainable future and recycling more material than ever before. Although, while some municipalities are doing better than in the past, some  are still lagging behind.


Some may say it may be a fear of trying something new, but studies  from the Toronto and Area Road Builders Association (TARBA) have shown that there currently isn't a huge commitment to recycling aggregate, that some are even resisting the change.  In the past, there may have been some issues with the quality of recycled aggregate.  But today, the product has been engineered and tested properly and has gone through modern methods of quality control.


Different regions allow for more or less use of recycled aggregate. In areas where the rates are low, it means that tracking new aggregate over large distances burns fuel, green house gasses and the used aggregate ends up in the waste system.


The regions need to be doing a much better job of recycling, some municipalities such as Mississauga only allow recycled aggregate for access roads, i.e bicycle paths. Toronto did score the highest (in the survey contacted by TARBA) for allowing recycled materials for use in almost everything (some uses are still restricted). Instead of disposing and stockpiling used aggregate, the TARBA is encouraging municipalities to find ways of using more of the recycled aggregate in their construction.


Recycled aggregate means a more sustainable infrastructure overall. Currently, only 7% of aggregate is used in Ontario. The regions can be doing a better job of reducing the need for "virgin aggregates". This in turn will reduce the environmental impact of the aggregate extraction process.




Lee Toop, Associate Editor: Heavy Equipment Guide. February, 2019 Issue

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Cannabis on the Job Site

"Cannabis changes nothing and cannabis changes everything" says Andrew Pariser,  Vice President of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario.


With October 17, 2018 fast approaching there is still a lot of uncertainty in the construction industry now that the use of recreational marijuana is becoming legal.


In construction, safety is everyone’s number one concern. Safe workers are happier, healthier, more productive, and provide a higher quality of work. Impaired workers, regardless of the

cause, are a hazard to themselves, other workers, and the public.


When recreational cannabis becomes legal and the obligations are placed on employers, arguments on whether or not marijuana consumption would be dangerous for those on a construction site will be pretty much moot, at least for now. No construction manager will toe the line when it could expose their business to potential liability.


 A survey by the Human Resource Professionals Association found that 71 per cent of employers are not prepared for the legalization of cannabis. A difficult balance must be struck between respecting an individual’s human rights and enforcing onsite mechanisms to ensure workers go home safely every night.


There is still a lot of uncertainty over enforcement on job sites but impairment should be impairment regardless of the cause. All employers in construction should have  up-to-date policies to guide and inform employees on what is and isn’t acceptable.


“There are certain circumstances where employees who are using marijuana may need to be accommodated in the workplace under human rights legislation, depending on the circumstances of the use,” Sarah Huot, an associate with Bennett Jones LLP,  says. “Employers will need to make sure they’re aware of their obligations. If an employee shows up to work and is impaired by marijuana, that might not constitute sufficient grounds to terminate or otherwise discipline the employee.” She goes on to explain that employers will need to investigate whether the employee is using marijuana for treatment of a medical condition, or if there could be a substance abuse or dependency issue which constitutes a disability under human rights legislation.


"An employer is required to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker. An employer should assess the circumstances of the workplace, identify the hazards that may be present and take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to ensure that workers are protected. This duty may include ensuring workers are not impaired while performing their work, and ensuring workers are not introducing hazards to the workplace as a result of impairment arising from substance use." (


According to the Government of Ontario's website -, "Consuming recreational cannabis in the workplace is illegal and will continue to be after legalization on October 17, 2018"


Stay safe! Work smart!!


Lisa Chambers

Canada Heavy Equipment College


Contact Canada Heavy Equipment College if you or your business needs help with up-to-date policies regarding impairment in the workplace.

519-650-6040 or

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Reasons To Be A Trained Heavy Equipment Operator

Many old school operators will tell you “you don’t need training, I just hoped on the equipment and taught myself”. The problem with that is there are major gaps in their knowledge, because they never received professional training and often they only got experience on one piece of equipment.

In todays industry safety is a priority, employers don’t want to lose time and money because of unsafe, untrained employees. The job won’t get done if people are getting hurt, so it’s in a company’s best interest to have safe operators working in safe conditions.


Professional training gives you more versatility and makes you more employable. At Canada Heavy Equipment College you will be trained on a variety of types of equipment (Road Graders, Excavators, Backhoes, and Dozers), you will be prepared to do grade reading, know different types of soils, site layouts and heavy equipment maintenance. When you graduate with us you will be job ready!

Canada Heavy Equipment College graduates are sought after because of our commitment to training skilled and safe operators.

Our courses run year-round and have weekly start dates. Contact us to see when you can begin!



Canada Heavy Equipment College

5 Manitou Drive Unit 15B

Kitchener, Ontario


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Kristen Wierenga
September 26, 2019
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Kim Lemon
June 15, 2019
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Lisa Chambers
November 12, 2018
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