Changes to the Safety Standards Act: What you need to know

To enhance safety for workers and the general public, the provincial government of BC has made several amendments to the Safety Standards Act which came into force at midnight, November 30.

These amendments are intended to address gaps and strengthen existing safety oversight tools so that delegated authorities administering the Act, including Technical Safety BC and other local municipalities, can do their jobs more effectively.

Two changes to the Safety Standards Act provide more tools for compliance and enforcement:

  • Delegated authorities will have the ability to enforce against individuals who place advertisements for regulated work if they do not possess the proper credentials to do this work. Previously it was illegal to complete regulated work without the appropriate qualifications and permits, but it was not illegal to advertise those services.
     
  • Delegated authorities will be able to use their discretion to refuse permits where a contractor’s compliance, safety history, or other circumstances indicate a need to do so.  Previously, permit refusal was only allowed when fees were outstanding.

The amendments also make the Safety Standards Appeals Board more efficient by allowing summary dismissal of appeals where there are no reasonable prospects of success. They also allow Technical Safety BC to deliver notices required by the Act or regulations by email.

The following changes will be implemented at a later date, following stakeholder consultation to define details:

  • Technical Safety BC and other authorities having jurisdiction will be able to publicly identify non-compliant contractors as well as unqualified individuals performing regulated work.
     
  • Technical Safety BC will be able to develop continuing education programs to ensure people working with regulated equipment have up-to-date knowledge and skills. This change will follow stakeholder consultation to help define the programming.

The Safety Standards Act was written 15 years ago and we welcome the opportunity to adapt new practices to maintain a strong safety system.

“Overseeing the safe installation and operation of technical systems across B.C. is our priority,” said Catherine Roome, President and CEO of Technical Safety BC. “The changes will allow us to advance technical safety through regulatory tools, including targeting those who do not meet the standards, and supporting qualified people as they continue to offer safe services to all British Columbians.”

If you have any questions about how these changes may impact you, please contact us at communications@technicalsafetybc.ca.

 

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