Electrical Technology Advisory Committee News

The Electrical Technology Advisory Committee (ETAC) provides Technical Safety BC with input on technical safety, regulatory operations, and service delivery.  ETAC members represent various industry perspectives, including product certification and standards; consultants; contractors; distributors and manufacturers; education and training; equipment owners and operators; labour; regulators; and communication and power utilities.

Technology Advisory Committees are designed to assist Technical Safety BC in carrying out its mandate to maintain and improve public safety in the technical areas under its jurisdiction. Recommendations from the Technology Advisory Committees help Technical Safety BC develop policies and propose regulatory changes to the Province.

ETAC News - Winter 2017
ETAC  News - Spring/Summer 2016
ETAC  News - Spring/Summer 2015

ETAC News - Winter 2015
ETAC News - Fall 2014
ETAC News - Summer 2014
ETAC News - Spring 2014


ETAC News - Winter 2017

Meeting of October, 2016

Updates

Following recruitment, Jeremy Overton of City of Vancouver was welcomed as a new member.

Reporting back on previous recommendations

Creating an Electrical Code Review Committee to review and analyze impact of MOR and to make recommendations to the CSA code sub-committees: Further discussion of impact of code vs training cycles must be done, as well as mapping out skills and competencies to focus on when coordinating this committee.

Recommendations

Working Group to be formed to review identify basic qualifications, technical requirements, and education beyond code requirements for contractors who install photovoltaic and other alternative energy systems.

Items for discussion in 2017

Arc fault issues and bringing down number of occurrences

ETAC News - Spring/Summer 2016

Meeting of March, 2016

Updates

  • The Business Partner, Stakeholder Engagement will facilitate TAC meetings. The Chair and Co-Chair are still responsible for setting the agenda.

TAC Changes

  • Number of TAC meetings per year reduced to three; additional meetings can be scheduled for either the TAC or working groups if required
  • Inter-TAC Issues Committee disbanded. Cross-technology issues will be addressed on an individual basis.

TAC Recruitment

  • Members were invited to provide feedback on the TAC Matrix

Working Group Updates

The FSR Working Group invited representatives of Technical Safety BC working on enforcement to their upcoming meeting.

Recommendations

Technical Safety BC to talk with members of the Safety Standards Administrators Group (SSAG) regarding improving mechanisms to alter the code between code change cycles.

Technical Safety BC to talk with both the BC Government’s BSSB department and the Safety Standards Administrator’s Group (SSAG) on the issue of overhead line clearances.

Technical Safety BC’s State of Safety Report will be distributed in advance of the June meeting. A full presentation and discussion will be held on the report.

More data will be given on enforcement, the number of contractors, and the number of inspections in the June meeting.

An invitations to BC Hydro was to be extended to talk about EV stations.

Report Back on Previous Recommendations

Previously, the Operating Permit Working Group had provided a recommendation to add a logbook to the process. Technical Safety BC’s response was that this aspect will be reviewed as part of the current business plan initiative on improving services to holders of operating permits.

Meeting of June, 2016

Updates

ETAC members were invited to provide feedback on the fibre optic cabling information bulletin

A full presentation outlining upcoming changes in enforcement was provided. Members were also invited to provide other ideas. A full accounting of the presentation can be found in the June 14, 2016 minutes.

Recruitment for vacant or expiring ETAC positions is to close on July 17. Members were invited to circulate the information to their colleagues.

Working Group Updates

Work continues on the FSR enhancements. No recommendations have been made on renewals, continuing education, or other program enhancements. A full account of the most recent meeting can be found in the June 14, 2016 minutes.

Recommendations

Technical Safety BC to collect and distribute statistics around Grounding & Bonding issues, develop educational materials around Grounding & Bonding

Technical Safety BC to make a presentation about RAP including information on RAP calculation and changes

Technical Safety BC to work with Melissa from ECA to put together educational courses with ETAC input

Members were asked for feedback on the State of Safety report – including what information they found useful and what information was missing.

Report Back on Previous Recommendations

A response to the previous recommendation regarding updating the code in between code cycles. At the previous meeting a recommendation to meet with the provincial government on the issue was made. The discussion was held and the key points were 

  • Requires further evaluations and identifying gaps
  • Discussion would be proactive evaluation of items already on table
  • A committee would be required to review potential code changes – what competencies should be on such a committee? ETAC members were asked to provide a list in advance of the next meeting (October 2016)

A full accounting of the discussion can be found in the June 14, 2016 minutes.

Overhead Line Clearance – meetings were held between government, Hydro and SSAG. There continues to be confusion about who has the jurisdiction for this work. Most agree it is municipalities. There needs to be better communication between Hydro and municipalities. ETAC members were asked for their input in improving the consistency of processes between these groups.

Low Voltage Permits – At a previous meeting ETAC provided feedback on changing the regulation as it applied to low voltage permits. Technical Safety BC reported that an RFA was being sent to the provincial government in August to recommend a change.


ETAC  News – Spring/Summer 2015

The most recent meeting of the ETAC was May 5, 2015.  The following summary provides an overview of the issues discussed.  Full minutes for this and other ETAC meetings can be found on the Electrical Technology Advisory Committee section of our website.

Updates

  • Alternative Safety Approaches provide an alternate means for meeting intent of regulations or code.
  • Continued concerns about inspection rates. A full ETAC meeting may be dedicated to discussion about this topic.

Working Group updates

  • Members will be informed if any changes to the CEC 2015 Working Group and ETAC recommendation to be made before making the proposal to the Minister to adopt the 2015 CEC.
  • Nick LeForte is now Chair of the Annual Operating Permit Process Working Group. Single permit/logbook in development. Operating Permit Directive has been issued.
  • Discussing exemption of maintenance of security alarm systems under section 18. Working Group not ready to provide recommendations at this time.

Recommendations

  • Publish the Operating Permit directive and bulletin.
  • Technical Safety BC to work with AHJs to put together brochures for Operating Permits. Sharing the cost is proposed.

ETAC News – Winter 2015

The first ETAC meeting of 2015 was held January 27, 2015. Technical Safety BC’s electrical safety manager reported on Technical Safety BC data related to electrical incidents, risk registry and hazard maps.

Three ETAC working groups – on the recognition of electrical training, 2015 Canadian electrical code, and annual operating permit process – also presented progress updates.

Other topics addressed at this meeting included LED retrofits, Safety Standards Act review, FSR program enhancements and minimum clearance of overhead lines.

Full minutes from this and other ETAC meetings can be found in the Electrical Technology Advisory Committee section of the Technical Safety BC website.

If you have issues you would like to see brought to the ETAC, contact our Stakeholder Engagement team.


ETAC News – Fall 2014

At the fall 2014 meeting of the ETAC, the committee will welcome three new members.   Adding their voices to the electrical safety dialogue are Cam Duncan from Stantec Consulting;  Greg Geissinger from Nemetz (S/A) & Associates; and Ken Scambler from Schneider Electric.  The three bring expertise in the consulting and distribution and manufacturing sectors of the electrical industry.

The last meeting of ETAC was held on July 5, 2014.  Topics of discussion included updates on incidents, permit volumes and enforcement; progress of Technical Safety BC fee consultations; proposed FSR program enhancements; certification of LED retrofits and review of the Safety Standards Act.  The committee also heard updates from four working groups.

Full minutes from this and other ETAC meetings can be found in the Electrical Technology Advisory Committee section of the Technical Safety BC website. If you have issues you would like to see brought to the ETAC, contact our Stakeholder Engagement team.


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ETAC News - Summer 2014

The ETAC is currently recruiting for new members with expertise in the following industries:  consultants, distributors/manufacturers, power utilities.  If you have knowledge in these areas and are interested in participating, visit Technical Safety BC’s website for details and to download an application form . Applications will be accepted until September 15, 2014.

The most recent ETAC meeting was held on Tuesday May 6, 2014.   Topics addressed included the use of hazard mapping, allocation of inspection resources, approvals for high voltage installations, certification of LED retrofits, and enhancements to the field safety representative program.

The committee also approved the formation of two new working groups to address the 2015 Canadian Electrical Code and the annual operating permit process.

Full minutes of this and other ETAC meetings, along with information about committee members, can be found on the Electrical Technology Advisory Committee section of the Technical Safety BC website. 

Please contact Stakeholder Engagement at Technical Safety BC if you have any topics you wish to have brought to the attention of ETAC members.  

The next scheduled meetings are Tuesday, July 15, 2014 and Tuesday, October 15, 2014.

 


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ETAC News - Spring 2014

The Electrical Technology Advisory Committee (ETAC) provides Technical Safety BC with input on technical safety, regulatory operations, and service delivery.  ETAC members represent various industry perspectives, including product certification and standards; consultants; contractors; distributors and manufacturers; education and training; equipment owners and operators; labour; regulators; and communication and power utilities.

The ETAC held its first meeting of the new year on January 28, 2014. Discussion topics included the recognition of training programs; proposed changes in the 2015 edition of the Canadian Electrical Code; a summary of 2013 incidents and risk registry items; and 2013 inspection rates.

The Risk Reduction Working Group, on Section 18 of the Electrical Safety Regulation, was unable to come to a consensus on a recommendation for changes to this Section. The purpose of this group was to make recommendations regarding qualification requirements for individuals who may perform electrical work under Section 18 of the Electrical Safety Regulation. After hearing this group’s feedback, the ETAC has recommended that the provincial safety manager prepare a draft directive to address this issue.

The Risk Reduction Working Group on Recognition of Training Programs also held its first meeting of the year in January, and reported some initial progress to map out an improved process for applications.

Full minutes of ETAC meetings, and information about committee members are available on the Electrical Technology Advisory Committee section of the Technical Safety BC website. 

The next scheduled meeting is Tuesday May 6, 2014.