Scheduled Maintenance for Online Services

Online Services will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance from June 21 at 6 pm until June 24 at 8 am.  

Scheduled Maintenance for Online Services

Online Services will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance from June 21 at 6 pm until June 24 at 8 am.  

Compliance

Annual State of State 2023

Compliance

Our approach to reducing non-compliances starts with influencing those in the safety system to make safety-minded decisions. By increasing participation across the safety system, we collect a broader array of data, which helps us understand risks and hazards more clearly. In turn, we share our analysis of this data with our clients and safety partners, to inform them of emerging trends or warn them of failing equipment or systems.

We commit to education and the promotion of safety knowledge so British Columbians can find it easier to comply with codes and standards. Learn more about how we conduct assessments and see information on our 2023 assessments.

Regulatory Compliance Audits

In addition to assessments, we use audits to verify compliance with the Safety Standards Act and Regulations. Audits provide valuable insights into how well an organization, its employees, and equipment are working together to comply with regulatory requirements, During an audit, we review the roles of certified individuals; the business decisions and operations of the organization; and the operation and maintenance of permitted equipment. We also identify areas where there are opportunities for improvement.

We select candidates for audits each year using a computer algorithm to find a representative sample of contractors within all technologies and regions. We also select audit candidates using investigative data, such as how often a contractor obtains a permit compared to industry; the number of non-compliances associated with a licence; and previous enforcement history, among other factors.

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Causes for Non-Compliances Identified During Audits

An audit reviews duty holders’ knowledge and understanding of the Safety Standards Act and Regulations as well as the organizations’ qualifications, records, structure, processes, procedures, and culture.

A few common root causes for continued non-compliance include:

  • lack of internal processes to support compliance, such as permitting, assignment of qualified individuals to jobs, risk assessments, calling for inspection, correction, and declaration of non-compliance;
  • lack of internal employee training;
  • employee turnover;
  • issues with hiring, maintaining and tracking qualifications; and
  • general lack of understanding of responsibilities outlined in the Safety Standards Act and Regulations. We encourage all duty holders to consider these factors to support their own compliance and good standing and to reduce the risk of enforcement action. Questions or concerns about compliance or to report those who are working unlicensed or unqualified can be directed to complianceenforcement@technicalsafetybc.ca.

The following criteria illustrates how we segment our audits and then impartially distribute them across all technologies and in the contractor community. The criteria is organized into three distinct categories for determining compliance audits:

Audit Case Study

Recently, we investigated a contractor working outside of the safety system who was identified in multiple cases of unpermitted work. Many of these jobs were also performed by unqualified individuals. Site inspections at numerous locations identified that only 9% of the inspected locations were compliant with codes and regulations. Fifty per cent of the inspected work was identified to have moderate to high-risk non-compliances.

The contractor was required to obtain permits for all unpermitted sites and have a qualified individual attend each site. They were also required to ensure each location was left safe and compliant with the Safety Standards Act and Canadian Standards Association (CSA) installation code requirements. The contractor was required to submit a call for inspection on each permit obtained. Compliance orders were issued to the contractor related to work performed without permits and work performed by unqualified individuals.

Those who knowingly or unknowingly work outside of the safety system pose a risk to safety by performing or overseeing regulated work without the appropriate licenses, certifications, or permits. The success of our safety system model depends on decisions made by individuals doing regulated work, and those who hire them. In addition to compliance audits and enforcement, we are supporting licensed contractors by implementing advertising guidelines that help differentiate them from those working in the underground economy.

Implementation of Advertising Guidelines

On September 6, 2022, changes to the Safety Standards General Regulation were announced, requiring licensed contractors to publish their company name and Technical Safety BC licence number when advertising their services to the public by 2023. These changes apply to all licensed contractors in electrical, gas, elevating devices, and boilers, pressure vessels, and refrigeration.

In 2023, we supported contractors by publishing guidelines that provide direction on how to update their digital, print media, and physical advertisements. Learn more about this initiative.

We continue to educate and engage the licensed contractor community to increase compliance with these new advertising guidelines.

In a survey sample of approximately 1000 licensed contractors at the end of 2023, around 72% reported that they were aware of the new requirements. Approximately 90% stated that they intend to comply or had already complied with updating their company or business advertising to align with the guidelines.

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