Does Your Contractor Stand By a Written Code of Excellence?

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IBEW Code of Excellence logo

"Contractors who’ve worked with us know that the skills are there, the professionalism is there, and the numbers are there.”
- Lorne Newick

What if you could have a written guarantee that a construction project would be done on time, on budget, and to the highest possible standards? That’s exactly what the IBEW offers to builders and clients who sign on.

The Code of Excellence program was started by the IBEW International Office in Washington and has been embraced by locals and their contractor partners throughout the United States and Canada. The Code ensures that when you hire an IBEW Contractor, you simply cannot get better reliability and value in electrical construction work. You can read a detailed list of what’s included in the Code of Excellence here.

“The Code is there to make sure our members know their responsibilities,” says IBEW Local 105 Business Manager Lorne Newick. “In order for a member to work on a Code site, they have to have taken the training. Code site supervisors and Union Stewards have additional training as well.”

Recently, Ozz Electric and Hamilton’s IBEW Local 105 decided to team up and propose that the upcoming Peter George Centre for Living and Learning at McMaster University be done according to the Code.

Peter George Centre for Living and LearningBudgeted at $80 million, the centre will include three floors of classrooms and auditoriums, and another six floors of residences for students. It’s one of the bigger projects in McMaster’s recent history.

“Our members are used to delivering the top level of performance. Contractors who’ve worked with us know that the skills are there, the professionalism is there, and the numbers are there. They know we only dispatch certified, safety-trained professionals.”

“Our builders have a schedule to maintain, and we appreciate that. If we have a good track record on our end, that, to me, is success.”

The Code is a Two-Way Street

A lot of the items in the Code of Excellence are things that sound obvious, but actually require a commitment from multiple parties in order to happen.

For example, one line from the code states, ‘eight hours work for eight hours pay’. In order for an electrician to be able to work, the contractor has to provide three things:

  1. All the materials for the task.
  2. All necessary tools and equipment to safely perform the work.
  3. All the information on the task the electricians need to do the job.

All of these things mean that the contractor needs to put in the planning time to ensure that everything comes together and is ready to go on the job site.

“You’d be surprised at some of the conditions I’ve heard about on non-IBEW job sites,” continues Newick. “For example, essential safety equipment is not where it’s needed when it’s needed. Another common problem is lack of tools, or not enough tools for the number of workers. Also the use of unregistered, and in some cases unqualified, workers to perform electrical work. We bring our own hand tools of course, but power tools, ladders, and other equipment are supposed to be provided by the contractor.”

A Workforce Advantage

One of the great advantages of hiring an IBEW certified contractor is their incredible resource of having 17,000 qualified electricians and apprentices across the province at their disposal to take on any size project.

“If an electrician needs to leave a job site because of a family emergency, for example,” says Newick, “we can have a replacement on site right away. And because our training standards are so high, you can be sure the replacement can be up to speed on the task at hand in no time.”

Working Together to Help Our Clients Succeed

Newick knows that maintaining the reputation of his local is essential to its future success. “Our builders have a schedule to maintain, and we appreciate that. If we have a good track record on our end, that, to me, is success.”

“The Code of Excellence gives builders and clients a guarantee,” continues Newick. “It’s their assurance of performance, professionalism, and productivity.”
Looking to hire a contractor click here. Learn more about IBEW click here.

 

Image credits:

  1. Image of Peter George Centre for Living and Learning from McMaster University