State of Safety: Assessments
Assessments help us confirm that owners and duty holders are complying with the Safety Standards Act and associated regulations. As a risk-based regulator, we use a combination of advanced analytics and human decision-making to identify the greatest sources of potential harm to British Columbians. This enables us to target systems with the highest risk while optimizing efficiency and scale.
For example, in the electrical and gas technologies, every permit that we receive is first assessed by a predictive machine learning algorithm. This risk assessment is provided to our safety officers, who use their knowledge and expertise to determine whether further assessment, in-person or virtual, is required.
A Return to Business as Usual
In 2022, we expanded the use of remote assessment tools for unit-based technologies, like personnel hoist extension assessments which were a part of a pilot program to create an innovative mobile app. We applied our structured resource allocation methods in the boilers, pressure vessels, and refrigeration technology as well as the passenger ropeways technology, to support safety officers as they assess which areas hold the highest safety risks. Taking data from past assessments, then adding in real-time data, our structured resource allocation model predicts where areas with higher safety risk may be located.
As public health restrictions continued to ease, we returned to “business as usual” in the past year. Non-restrictive physical assessments returned, with 52% of all assessments completed being physical in nature, compared to 46% in 2021. Remote assessments continued to be used for areas predicted to have lower hazards and when appropriate based on safety officer discretion.
As we move forward, we remain focused on non-compliance management and prioritizing high hazards. We will work together with our clients and safety partners to reduce risks and promote safety.
Understanding our Assessment Approach
Assessments Versus Inspections
Assessments refer to our evaluation of whether a system or equipment possesses safety risk. We can use any combination of the different tools available to us when evaluating safety – from video calling to checking submitted documents, using predictive machine learning, and more. Onsite inspections are a type of assessment where safety officers perform physical inspections in places where high hazards are more likely to be found.
In-Person and Remote Assessments
We use a combination of physical, in-person assessments and remote assessments to support our mandate. Remote assessments are performed by safety officers and allow us to increase our reach and presence, especially in outlying parts of BC. When combined with physical, in-person assessments, remote assessments are useful in detecting areas of high hazards, while helping us improve client experience and reduce our environmental impact.
We are also developing digital tools, such as an app for construction hoists, to provide clients’ the ability to provide feedback and review their experiences with their hoist assessments. Clients can interact with us in a way that best fits their schedule through this app. Their contribution allows us to gage the effectiveness of our assessment process and understand whether we can further improve efficiencies for our clients.
Structured Resource Allocation
Risk-based oversight is used to efficiently find areas that may have a higher number of hazards or safety risks. The structured resource allocation framework is used to assess the potential hazard level of work and direct the assessment efforts of safety officers. Taking data from past assessments, adding real-time data, and applying the expertise of people and machine learning, the SRA model predicts where areas with higher safety risk may be located.
Similar to audits, remote assessments usually include a review of photos, videos, and other documentation, as well as communication with the client through phone calls, video calls, and email. While a safety officer is reviewing documents and communicating with clients virtually, a remote assessment is not categorized as an in-person assessment.
In-person assessments refer to safety officers assessing or inspecting work on site.
Compliance of Duty Holders' Work
We refer to a person who owns regulated products or performs regulated work as a duty holder.
The duty holder has a responsibility to comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations, and any applicable technical code associated with the products they own, or work they perform.
When assessing the work of a duty holder, our safety officers provide one of the following ratings.
The safety officer has assessed that the regulated work and/or regulated product was found to comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations, and/or applicable technical code(s).
The safety officer has assessed that the regulated work and/or regulated product was found to not comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations, and/or applicable technical code(s). Further regulated work may only be undertaken as directed on the certificate of inspection, while the identified non-compliances are being corrected.
The safety officer has assessed that the regulated work and/or regulated product was found to not comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations, and/or applicable technical code(s). Further regulated work on the affected system or phase of work, and/or operation of the regulated equipment must not be undertaken until the identified non-compliances have been corrected.
Compliance of Duty Holder's Work in
2022 (Physical Assessment
Compliance of Duty Holder's Work in
2022 (Remote Assessment)
Hazards Found, by Category in
2022 (Physical Assessment)