COVID-19 client service update

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

Compliance and Enforcement

Managing Safety Risks: Compliance and Enforcement

Compliance and Enforcement 

When non-compliances are identified, our first step is often to work with duty holders to help them understand their obligations and provide them with a clear pathway to resolution. However, when these interventions don't achieve the desired result, Technical Safety BC may take enforcement action to achieve compliance.

Compliance and enforcement actions

In 2020, we conducted 388 compliance and enforcement actions, of which 169 were compliance orders and 13 were compliance audits. Other compliance and enforcement activities include 181 warning notices issued, 24 monetary penalties, and one discipline order. No bonds were called this year.

The compliance and enforcement actions taken were much less than in 2019 as a direct result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the onset of the pandemic, Technical Safety BC took into consideration the challenges faced by clients to remain compliant and to continue to keep their businesses in operation. We chose to pause our actions related to administrative non-compliances and focused our efforts on addressing technical non-compliances and the hazards associated with them. The compliance and enforcement team continued important work to serve safety in 2020, including identifying 4,907 locations where regulated work was performed without a permit or permission.

Action Definitions

Bonds 

Surety bonds are financial guarantees required to obtain both gas and electrical contractor licences. In certain circumstances, a safety manager may “call the bond,” requiring the funds to be applied to correct non-compliances.

Compliance orders 
Documents issued to a person or company by a Technical Safety BC safety officer or safety manager that specifies actions to be taken, stopped, or modified
Compliance audits 

A systematic documented process in which Technical Safety BC gathers and evaluates evidence to determine the extent to which the duty holder (auditee) is complying with the requirements of the Safety Standards Act and Regulations (the audit criteria).

Warning notices 

Documents issued to a person or company by Technical Safety BC identifying non-compliant behaviour and further advising that future non-compliance of a similar nature may result in progressive enforcement action.

Monetary penalties 
Administrative penalties issued by a Technical Safety BC safety manager to a person or company for specific non-compliance(s) in amounts up to a maximum of $100,000.
Discipline order 

A document issued by a Technical Safety BC provincial safety manager to a person or company performing regulated work who: (1) is in breach of a condition of, or restriction on, any licence or permission; (2) practices in a discipline under the Safety Standards Act for which the contractor is not licensed or qualified; (3) fails to comply with a compliance order or safety order; (4) fails to comply with a requirement, term or condition of an Alternative Safety Approach, or; (5) is convicted of an offense under the Safety Standards Act.

Duty holder 

A person or company who is responsible for compliance because they either own regulated products or perform regulated work.

Compliance and Enforcement by Technology in 2020

Compliance and Enforcement by Technology
Compliance and Enforcement by Technology in 2020

Compliance audit

Our compliance audits speak to the fairness of the selection process and the impact that audits have on the safety system. The criteria is organized into three distinct categories for determining compliance audits:

  1. Random: An independent computer algorithm randomly selects a sample of contractor license data within all technologies, in all regions, on an annual basis.
  2. Investigation: Analysis of the following indicators:
    • the average rate of obtaining permits in a given period of time compared to the industry average and other companies of the same size and scope
    • the number of non-compliances associated with a licence
    • the hazard level associated with any non-compliance(s)
    • the company’s payroll compared with their permitting activities
    • other factors such as previous enforcement history and the effectiveness of previous enforcement.
  3. Compliance monitoring: When enforcement action does not achieve the desired behavioural effect, a deeper dive into the duty holders activities is warranted. Audits on repeat offenders will reveal the root cause of why the non-compliant behaviour continues.

Audits by Category in 2020

Audits by Category in 2020
Audits by Category in 2020

Compliance and Enforcement by Year (2016 - 2020)

Compliance and Enforcement by Year
Compliance and Enforcement by Year

Impact of COVID-19 

In 2020, our Compliance and Enforcement activities have had to adapt to comply with the health and safety guidelines outlined by the Provincial Government. As a result, our work focused on high risk cases and supporting our clients to reach compliance in these challenging times. 

Monetary penalties in 2020

While legislation empowers us to issue a monetary penalty at any time in the enforcement process, we use our discretion when doing so. In fact, we only issue monetary penalties after warning notices or compliance orders did not secure compliance, or when compliance was breached. 

To provide transparency and understanding of where we are taking action, the following chart lists the monetary penalties issued in 2020. Most of these penalties were issued to those in the gas or electrical technologies.
 

Monetary Penalties in 2020

Duty Holder Technology Category Value
Sather Boat Works Ltd. Electrical Failure to comply with a compliance order $14,000
Bison Plumbing & Heating Ltd. Gas Failure to comply with a compliance order $12,000
Aura West Plumbing Inc. Gas Failure to comply with a compliance order $12,000
Chris's Sign Service Inc. Electrical Failure to comply with a compliance order $12,000
High Demand Heating Ltd. Electrical Failure to comply with a compliance order $12,000
A Company Gas This enforcement action is currently under appeal (at the time of publishing this report). $12,000
Shamin Pourmokhtari d.b.a. Glass House Optical Electrical Failure to comply with a compliance order $5,500
Miller-Tech Electric Ltd. Electrical Failure to comply with a compliance order $3,000
Robert Sammuel Caskey Gas Failure to comply with a compliance order $3,000
Symbolistic Heating Ltd. Gas Failure to comply with a compliance order $3,000
Dave Riley d.b.a. North Point Industrial Services Electrical Failure to comply with a compliance order $3,000
Haab Homes Ltd. Gas Performing regulated work without required permit $3,000
BPM Electric Ltd. Electrical Failure to comply with a compliance order $3,000
Blue Moon Plumbing & Heating Ltd. Gas Failure to comply with a compliance order $3,000
A Company Gas This enforcement action is currently under appeal (at the time of publishing this report). $3,000
National Plumbing & Heating Ltd. Gas Failure to comply with a compliance order $2,000
Ryan Orchard d.b.a. Orchard Plumbing & Heating Gas Failure to comply with a compliance order $2,000
Granger Plumbing Ltd. Gas Failure to comply with a compliance order $2,000
Matthew Royal, Michael Royal and Bounce Hire (a partnership) Amusement Failure to comply with a compliance order $1,500
Bennett Sheet Metal and Heating Ltd. Electrical Failure to comply with term/condition of a licence $1,500
Tim Hall d.b.a. TNJ Plumbing & Heating Gas Failure to comply with a compliance order $1,000
Hallmark Heating Chimney and Duct Ltd. Gas Failure to comply with a compliance order $1,000