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Alternative Safety Approaches
Alternative Safety Approaches

Data by technology: Alternative Safety Approaches

Alternative Safety Approaches

Alternative Safety Approaches (ASA) are developed with owners and operators in the oil and gas, propane, bio-energy, LNG, and institutional sectors. They provide a way for an owner or primary operator to undertake regulated work or use regulated products in a way that is different from traditional prescriptive requirements, but consistent with the safety objectives of the Safety Standards Act.

We oversee the acceptance of ASA for all technologies in accordance with the Safety Standards Act and the Alternative Safety Approaches Regulation.

Types of Alternative Safety Approaches

  1. An Equivalent Standard Approach (ESA), which typically involves only one technology and requires a “like for like” substitution of regulatory requirements with alternative safety approaches which provide an equivalent level of safety.
     
  2. A Safety Management Plan (SMP), which is a broader approach involving the replacement of specified regulatory requirements with detailed, comprehensive safety management systems and which can involve multiple regulated technologies.

These options apply in different situations. The application process can vary in scale depending on complexity, but in all cases, clients are required to demonstrate that their proposed alternatives will achieve an equivalent, or better, level of safety.

Assessments and audits

A key feature of all alternative safety approaches is that clients take on increased responsibility for the safety of their equipment and work performed on their equipment or by their employees. We monitor the implementation of alternative safety approaches through a variety of oversight tools to assess client performance and the effectiveness of an alternative safety approach. Audits are central to this assessment and are performed using standard audit processes consistent with the International Standards Organization ISO19011—Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems.

Two types of audits are performed by the ASA program: 

  • Registration audits are performed to assess the readiness of a client to implement their alternative safety approach.
  • Conformance audits are performed to assess the degree to which a client is effective in implementing the alternative safety approach. 

In 2020, 11 Conformance audits and 6 Registration audits were performed. We also performed one registration audit jointly with the BC Oil and Gas Commission.

Overall, there were 17 audits deemed ‘Effective’, 12 ‘Effective, except for’, and 0 that were ‘Not Effective’.

Audit findings for sites operating with an accepted ASA are categorized in a manner similar to as-found conditions for traditional inspection-based assessments. The audit process used by Technical Safety BC assesses how the procedures and processes identified in the ASA meet or exceed the objectives of the Safety Standards Act to minimize risks, hazardous installation, or operation.
 

Audit Ratings

Effective Processes/and or controls are adequate, appropriate and effective to provide reasonable assurance that risks are being managed. Some enhancements may have been recommended.
Effective, except for Processes/and or controls are adequate, appropriate and effective to provide reasonable assurance that risks are being managed, however, there are deficiencies that need to be addressed by management.
Not effective Processes/and or controls are adequate, appropriate and effective to provide reasonable assurance that risks are being managed. There are a number of critical and high risk deficiencies that need to be addressed by management. These deficiencies have a significant impact on operations.

Alternative Safety Approaches by Rating in 2020

Audit Ratings 2020
Alternative Safety Approaches Audit Ratings