COVID-19: Gas FAQs
On March 26, the province of British Columbia defined most regulated work covered under the Safety Standards Act as a non-health essential service. We have received many industry-related questions, as your partner in safety, we are sharing them with you.
If you install, own, operate, or maintain regulated equipment, you are obligated to continue to meet all regulatory requirements for public safety. This includes capacity for enough personnel to maintain compliance to the Act, Regulation, code, and any equipment manufacturers’ operations and maintenance requirements.
Safety regulatory requirements include:
- Safety Standards Act, Safety Standards General Regulation, Gas Safety Regulation, and codes
- Gas Safety Regulation Division 1 – Individuals Who May Perform Regulated Work 4 (1)(2)(3)(4)
- Gas Safety Regulation Division 4 – Duties of a Licensed Gas Contractor and Permit Holder
- Safety Standards General Regulation-Division 1 – Regulated work done under supervision-Section 5
If you are unable to meet the regulatory requirements, you may request a variation to a code, standard, regulation, and Act by completing the variance form. If you have any questions or concerns, please email email@example.com with the subject line: “COVID-19: Regulatory responsibilities”.
If your installation or facility is closing, or if service is disrupted, please follow safety protocols, making the installation safe, and ensuring proper equipment shut-down and supervision.
Some buildings now have a “no visitor policy” or are temporarily closed to comply with COVID-19 prevention protocol mandated by provincial health authorities. It’s understandable that licensed contractors won’t be able to perform any periodic maintenance and may only respond to emergencies.
As the pandemic progresses, the possibility of a reduced workforce is likely, whether it’s due to sickness or self-isolation as recommended by health authorities. If you are unable to meet the staffing requirements or if product availability becomes an issue, we also consider variance requests on a case-by-case basis.
We are also sharing some online tools that can be used to help develop and refine a business continuity plan:
If you have already established business continuity protocols or identified different levels of service to provide, we invite you to share your plan with us. In the interest of industry and safety, we welcome the opportunity to provide feedback, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line: "COVID-19: Regulatory responsibilities".
Once a request for inspection (declaration) has been received, our safety officers will assess the information to determine the appropriate next step, which can be one of the following options:
- Waive the inspection: we accept the permit holders declaration of compliance and do not perform a remote or physical inspection. This means no inspection will be performed and no certificate of inspection will be issued.
- Schedule a physical inspection: in cases where a high hazard has been identified or is suspected, a local safety officer will arrange to physically attend the site to perform the inspection. A certificate of inspection will be issued to the permit holder upon completion of the physical inspection.
- Schedule a remote inspection: we perform the inspection without physically attending site. To carry out a remote inspection, a local safety officer will request one or more of the information types listed below. Alternatively you can contact your local safety officer to arrange a time to walk through the installation via live video conferencing tools. A certificate of inspection will be issued to the permit holder upon completion of the remote inspection.
In cases when an inspection fee applies to the work being assessed, remote inspections are charged at 30 minute increments, with a minimum 30 minute charge, according to the fee schedules (view the gas fee schedule).
To support the remote inspection process you will be requested to provide specific information that clearly demonstrates the scope of the regulated work or product.
Types of information that may be requested include, but are not limited to:
- Photo logs (time stamped when necessary);
- Videos logs;
- Documentation (PDFs, Word, etc.); and
- Live video conferencing.
As every permit and assessment has its own unique considerations, we cannot advise exactly what information type will be required prior to receiving a request for inspection (declaration form). For guidance on what may be required to support a remote inspection specific to your installation please contact your local safety officer.
We encourage you to record your installations through photo and/or video logs and to retain copies of relevant documentation stored on site so that these are available if requested by your local safety officer.
If you have any further questions, please email us at email@example.com, with the subject line “Remote assessments”.