Key Initiatives: Responding to COVID-19
Responding to COVID-19
In 2020, the world faced unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It changed the way we work, learn, care for ourselves and each other, and, importantly, how we connect. For Technical Safety BC, the provincial restrictions pushed us to respond to the pandemic by mobilizing our operations and re-prioritizing to maintain business continuity and uphold our commitment to safeguarding technical systems in the province. Details on all initiatives are included in our 2020 Revised Business Plan.
Our People First principle
We took immediate precautions to protect the health and safety of our employees, clients, and stakeholders by bolstering productivity remotely and digitally. This included transitioning to remote assessments, digital registration, online certification exams, and a remote contact centre.
Introducing remote assessments
In a typical year, Technical Safety BC conducts about 40,000 safety inspections in the field, so this created a unique challenge. To ensure that safety inspections would continue to take place, our safety officers began conducting inspections remotely, the only exception being if we determined that an in-person inspection was absolutely necessary. They used video call applications like Zoom and FaceTime in collaboration with asset owners and managers to perform remote safety inspections from their homes. Throughout the remainder of the year, we conducted 20,300 remote inspections, an exponential increase compared to 2019.
Digitizing the certification process
In May, Technical Safety BC launched an online exam pilot program. Previously, all exams had been administered in-person at Technical Safety BC offices across the province. By moving a majority of our exams online we were able to adhere to public health and safety guidelines and support our clients in earning certification and actively participating in the safety system. By the end of the year, over 990 clients had taken an online exam and 1,779 had taken an exam in-person.
Online design registration process
Another way we streamlined client interactions in 2020 was by changing our design registration to allow for digital receipt of plans. Previously, asset owners looking to modify technical equipment had to courier their design plans to our head office to have them registered prior to approval and certification. Now, submission and registration can be done more efficiently through our design registration online service.
By permanently moving design registration for all technologies online we simultaneously adapted to our clients’ remote work challenges and made submission and registration more efficient and transparent. The change also helped improve data access and clarify accountability to clients.
In 2020, 585 international and Canadian clients registered their engineering designs online.
Setting us up to Recover and Thrive
British Columbia is continuing to face a prolonged health and economic crisis. As such, Technical Safety BC is committed to lead through this crisis with its people-first approach to ensure the health and safety of our employees, clients and stakeholders.
Maintaining public safety and enabling system and industry innovation go hand-in-hand. The changes introduced to our operations and processes in 2020 not only kept everyone physically safe, they also increased efficiency across the whole safety system. In 2021 and beyond, we will be continuing our efforts to improve client experience through digital strategies with the goal of making technical systems safer for all British Columbians