Changes to Canadian Electrical Code

Effective March 4, 2025, a new version of the Canadian Electrical Code will be adopted in BC. Learn more about the changes and our timeline for transition.  

Changes to Canadian Electrical Code

Effective March 4, 2025, a new version of the Canadian Electrical Code will be adopted in BC. Learn more about the changes and our timeline for transition.  

BPVR

Annual State of Safety 2022

State of Safety: Boilers, Pressure Vessels, and Refrigeration

We oversee the design, construction, installation, and operation of boiler, pressure and refrigeration plants as well as pressure vessels, pressure piping systems, fittings and refrigeration equipment throughout BC.

Ammonia Release Incident Results in Fatality    


An ammonia release on May 26, 2022, at an ice making facility in the Mount Paul Industrial Park located on the Tḱemlúps te Secwépemc reserve in Kamloops led to a significant amount of ammonia being released into the surrounding area, resulting in one fatality, multiple exposures, a local evacuation, and the temporary shutdown of nearby businesses.

The primary cause of the incident was a failure to remove ammonia from the refrigeration system before disassembling it. The ammonia release occurred when a ball valve holding back pressurized ammonia for the entire system was opened, however those working on the disassembly understood the system to have been previously emptied.

Several contributing factors led to this incident, including miscommunication, ownership changes, and failing to involve a licensed refrigeration contractor to conduct a complete assessment for the presence of ammonia.

Based on our findings of this investigation, we are sharing our learnings and recommendations to prevent a similar occurrence.

Incidents

In 2022, the number of Boiler, Pressure Vessel, and Refrigeration (BPVR) incidents reported increased by four (5%) compared to 2021.

Note: The category under assessment refers to incidents reported to Technical Safety BC that were still under investigation at year-end.

Boiler, Pressure Vessel, & Refrigeration Incidents by Year (2018 - 2022)

Injuries

Twenty-seven injuries related to the BPVR technology were reported in 2022, which represents an increase of 5 (10%) compared to 2021.

The ammonia release incident in Kamloops resulted in one fatality and multiple exposures to ammonia. No other injuries outside of this incident were reported to us in 2022.

Please note that we receive injury reports and descriptions from operators or first responders at the time of, or immediately following, the incident. Injuries may develop after the initial reports were made to us and the long-term effects of a resultant injury may not be recorded as part of our investigation.

Boiler, Pressure Vessel, & Refrigeration Injuries by Year (2018 - 2022)

Permits

In 2022, there were 1,292 installation permits (a 19% decrease from 2021) and 67,722 operating permits in the Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration technology.

The decrease of installation permits correlates with a decrease in building permits across the province. Construction and renovation slow down, supply chain issues, rising costs and the housing market may also have an impact on the decrease of installation permits.

BPVR Operating Permits and Installation Permits by Year (2018-2022)

Assessments

Our safety officers completed a total of 5,514 assessments of boiler, pressure vessel, and refrigeration equipment in 2022. Of this total, 3,748 were in-person, physical inspections and 1,766 were remote inspections.

The results of in-person assessments included: 2,750 ranked as "pass" and 998 ranked as "failed." The results of remote assessments included: 1,537 ranked as "pass" and 229 ranked as "failed."

Assessments are rated as follows:

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 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.

Note: Unlike some other technologies we regulate, BPVR does not have a Conditional Pass category.

BPVR Compliance of Duty Holder's Work in 2022 (Physical Assessment)
BPVR Compliance of Duty Holder's Work in 2022
(Remote Assessment)

Data by Technology

You Might Be Interested In