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State of Safety 2017: Alternative Safety Approaches


Safety Manager's Discussion

Alternative Safety Approaches (ASAs) continue to be developed with owners and operators in the oil and gas, propane, bio-energy, LNG, and institutional sectors.

Technical Safety BC's ASA Safety Program is responsible for overseeing the acceptance of ASAs for all disciplines under the Safety Standards Act in accordance with the Act and the Alternative Safety Approaches Regulation.

The 44 ASAs in place as of the end of 2017 request alternatives within the following four major areas of regulation:               

  • Safety Standards General Regulation
  • Power Engineers, Boilers, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulations
  • Electrical Safety Regulations
  • Gas Safety Regulations

The audit process used by Technical Safety BC assesses how the procedures and processes identified in the ASA meet or exceed the objectives of the Safety Standards Act, to minimize risks, hazardous installation or operation. From 2015 to 2017 Technical Safety BC performed 50 audits of sites operating with an accepted ASA. The audits identified 475 non-conformances, 84 considered moderate, major, or severe. There were no severe non-conformances recognized in 2017. The majority of non-conformances in 2017 pertained to the failure to correct previously identified non-conformances and to develop effective processes and procedures. 

The ASA program continues to improve. In 2018 we will revise guidance documents and improve the hazard, risk assessment programs, and audit processes.  


Donna Denny
Safety Manager, ASA and Programs Manager, Safety Oversight 


No incidents were reported in 2017 in relation to Alternative Safety Approaches.


No injuries were reported in 2017 in relation to Alternative Safety Approaches.

Assessments of Regulated Work

As a performance-based approach to achieving compliance with the Safety Standards Act, assessment of that performance is done using standard audit processes consistent with the International Standards Organization standard ISO19011—Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems. Audit findings for sites operating with an accepted ASA are categorized in a manner similar to as-found conditions for traditional inspection-based assessments.



Hazard Categories in 2017

Number Hazard Category Definition/Description
5 Failure to correct NCR Action plan from previous audit not completed
4 Failure to develop process of procedure Process/procedure guidelines are not in place.
2 Inadequate procedure Procedural guidelines are not adequate
2 Improper equipment Ineffective or incorrect equipment, or portion thereof
1 Failure to follow procedure Established procedural guidelines not followed
1 Improper internal review/audit               Internal review not being performed
1 Currency of records

Records not kept up to dated


Stakeholder Engagement

The Stakeholder Engagement team works to enhance connections between stakeholders and Technical Safety BC via standing committees, advisory bodies and issue-specific consultations. Learn more in the Stakeholder Engagement section.

Media Relations and Communications

In 2017 Technical Safety BC undertook eight media relations-related actions (media releases, responses to media requests, and/or interviews) and produced two technical client newsletters regarding issues that cover multiple technologies. We also shared general safety information via social media (Facebook and Twitter). Learn more in the Media Relations and Communications section.                      

Compliance and Enforcement Actions

There were no compliance and enforcement actions taken in the Alternative Safety Approaches sector in 2017. Learn more in the Compliance and Enforcement section.

Regulatory Instruments and Amendments

In 2017 there were no regulatory instruments or amendments related to Alternative Safety Approaches. A full listing of all regulatory instruments pertaining to Alternative Safety Approaches is available here. Learn more in the Regulatory Instruments and Amendments section.