COVID-19 client service update

Safety critical assessments and incident investigations are continuing, as per our mandate. More information here.

 

Core Connections 2021

Core Connections 2021

Core Connections 2021

What are the biggest safety risks in British Columbia today? What is the current state of safety in the province? These are some of the topics we covered at this year’s virtual annual public meeting, Core Connections 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our province’s safety operations in many ways. Technical Safety BC has worked with our clients to ensure the safety system is still accessible during these tumultuous times. Together we have pivoted to meet ever-changing public health orders and adapted the ways in which we conduct business.

On May 27, we shared Technical Safety BC’s initiatives, annual results, and future plans as we continue to assist our clients while they respond, recover, and thrive during the pandemic. Attendees also had the opportunity to ask questions of our Board Chair and the entire Executive Team directly. 

New this year, Core Connections also featured facilitated breakout sessions. Topics included the future of assessments, the impacts of climate change, and carbon monoxide safety risks. 

If you didn’t have a chance to attend our annual public meeting this year, you can catch yourself up with the recorded sessions below.

Core Connections Q&A

Due to time constraints, we couldn't answer every question that was asked during our Core Connections 2021 live event. You can now find answers to those questions below.
 

Assessments  
How does Technical Safety BC ensure they are getting correct representations during remote inspections? How do you know that somebody has actually repaired a defect using pictures? 
Answer: There are currently a few ways we can verify, and in each case, should a safety officer suspect we are looking at a different site, we will inspect in-person to verify and can refer to compliance and enforcement for further follow-up. Other ways of verifying include examining previous photos or video submitted prior to the subsequent inspection, or if in doubt we may ask for live video of the site to confirm.  

 

Certification/Exams  
Is there a way you can have current electricians stay up to date with trade knowledge? Specifically, those who don't have an FSR, many seem to fall through the cracks. By this I mean once they have finished their schooling, there is no further contact with them. I am meeting many that are deficient in their knowledge, perhaps because they have only been doing a couple of things involving the trade.
Answer: Our current electrical course offerings are open to anyone to take and not just for FSRs. If there are any specific training needs and suggestions for new or improving our courses, please email us.  

Does Technical Safety BC plan to go for remote proctoring for the examinations like power engineers, etc.? 

Answer: We have been successful in offering online exams to our electrical, gas, and elevating clients. We are currently working with the Standardization of Power Engineer Examination Committee (SOPEEC) to determine if remote proctoring would be acceptable to them as we would like to be able to offer online examinations to our Boiler, Power Engineer, and Refrigeration clients as well. 

 

 

Financial  

How much of a financial impact will returning to offices and reduced work from home have on Technical Safety BC's finances?

Answer: Technical Safety BC spent $250,000 to re-configure our offices for social distancing measures in 2020, so there won’t be any immaterial financial impact from capital spending perspectives. From the operating side, returning to the office will result in some additional office operational costs and fuel and vehicle maintenance costs. This increase will be manageable according to our 2021 budget.

 

 

Permits  

Is there an app being put together to streamline Technical Safety BC permit applications, as well as image and documentation for inspections? 

Answer: We are focused on identifying areas that are key pain points for our clients including streamlining processes and creating useful tools.  We recognize that submission of images and documentation for inspections are not optimal, and we’re working on finding solutions that will be more efficient for our clients. We are at the early stages of solutioning, so more communication will be forthcoming this year.

Section 24(2)(b) of the Safety Standards Act states that a licensed contractor must not permit regulated work to be undertaken by persons under the control of the licensed contractor if they are not authorized under the Act.  

In section 24(2) there is an obligation that a licensed contractor must maintain current knowledge of the Act, relevant regulations, directives, safety orders and other relevant material, and ensure that individuals who do regulated work for the licensed contractor maintain similar current knowledge. 

 

 

Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration  

The date has passed for the Pressure Welder Transition program, as many businesses were impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Is there any plan to extend that date to support left-out pressure welders? 

Answer: Last year, the decision was made to provide an extension for the Pressure Welder Transition program due to test facility closures because of COVID-19. All transition applications needed to be submitted online before December 3, 2020 (the date in the Regulation) but we allowed an additional six months to meet the requirements and be issued the Class A certification.    

If you missed the transition deadline extension, you will need to obtain your Class A certificate by completing a practical exam.

 

 

Electrical  
What about situations when companies use a Field Safety Representative (FSR) name, yet crew an entire site with apprentices?

Answer: The Safety Standards General Regulations (SSGR 26(1)(d)) requires that a Field Safety Representative (FSR) ensures that all persons performing regulated work have the appropriate qualifications for the work being done. The Electrical Safety Regulations (ESR 12(2)) outlines the supervision ratios for trainees (apprentices) on a site. If the numbers of trainees on a site are exceeded, then this needs to be reported to the appropriate electrical authority having jurisdiction for action. 

 

How do we ensure the safety of two electrical contractors using the same single source of temporary power? 

E.g. One electrical contractor pulls the permit and installs the temporary power, but the other electrical contractor uses the power for construction work.

Answer: The use of temporary power on a jobsite requires a temporary construction operating permit. The party that obtained this permit (the owner or electrical contractor) is required to maintain the equipment and keep a logbook of use and any changes made. The Field Safety Representative named on the permit is responsible to ensure the safe operation of the equipment.

 

 

Elevating Devices  

The use of temporary power on a jobsite requires a temporary construction operating permit. The party that obtained this permit (the owner or electrical contractor) is required to maintain the equipment and keep a logbook of use and any changes made. The Field Safety Representative named on the permit is responsible to ensure the safe operation of the equipment. 

Answer: We are still in the very early stages of exploring guidelines for obtaining Safety Manager approval for access by others to the hoistway. We anticipate that we’ll be able to provide an update in early 2022. 

 

Is there a plan to follow the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) in the application of a director’s order to mandate the mandatory installation of elevator cartop handrails and machine guarding on current installations? 

Answer: No, there are currently no plans to issue a similar order in British Columbia.   

 

Railway  
There are many changes in regulations in the rail industry as we modernize safety, inclusive of work-rest rules, securing equipment, Locomotive Voice and Video Recorder Regulations (LVVR), and enhanced train control, to name a few. What can we expect from Technical Safety BC regarding assisting railroads in knowing what is coming our way? What applies to us and how we can be compliant?

Answer: Technical Safety BC works closely with the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure to provide provincial railways with a harmonized regulatory framework that aligns with federal legislation. As new rules and regulations come into place, Technical Safety BC in collaboration with the ministry engages with stakeholders to discuss the latest standards for adoption and further explores the possible impacts to BC railways. Opportunities to engage in these discussions will be posted on engage.technicalsafetybc.ca. If you have suggestions on what areas of the rules and regulations the industry might need clarification on, please send us an email. 

Technical Safety BC regularly provides industry updates through our Railways e-newsletters.