BCSA receives reports of incidents and conducts assessments of regulated equipment and work. Through investigation, inspection and audit, we aim to advance the knowledge of safety with a view towards managing risk. More detailed analysis, specific to each regulated industry sector, is available in our full State of Safety Report.

BCSA 2016 Statistics

Understanding Safety Risks in BC

Incidents involving work or equipment regulated by the Safety Standards Act are required to be reported to the appropriate provincial safety manager. BCSA investigates many of these incidents to gain an understanding of safety hazards in BC and what actions can be taken to manage those hazards. The total number of incidents assessed by BCSA between 2012 and 2016 is shown below.

For more details, please see the full State of Safety Report

View full list of  Incidents from 2016

Note 1:
Incidents identified as UNDER INVESTIGATION were open at the time of report compilation.
Note 2:
Prior to 2014, railway accidents and incidents were not given a rating and are identified as NOT RATED.
Note 3:
In 2016, the incident scale changed to align with our hazard scale and includes five selections as opposed to three in previous years.

Injuries reported as a result of incidents are an important indicator of impacts experienced from hazards inherent to the operation of regulated equipment. Injuries resulting from the incidents reported are summarized below.

For more details, please see the full State of State of Safety Report

Note 1:
BCSA changed injury ratings to a five-point scale in 2016 to better reflect the scope and nature of injuries reported. This compares to three selections in previous years.
Note 2:
Injuries associated with incidents UNDER INVESTIGATION are excluded.
Note 3:
BCSA receives injury reports and descriptions from operators or first responders at the time of, or immediately following, the incident. Injuries may develop after the initial reports were made to BCSA and the long-term effects of a resultant injury may not be recorded as part of BCSA’s investigation.

BCSA oversees the safe installation and operation of technical systems and equipment. Our oversight is based largely on permits issued for regulated work and equipment as well as certificates and licences issued to those performing regulated work. BCSA also uses management plans and agreements with some organizations to facilitate oversight of regulated work and equipment. The volume of installation and operating permits issued and the number of active and management plans provides an indication of the amount of regulated work being conducted within the safety system.

For more details, please see the full State of Safety Report

Note 1:
New installation permits include permits issued new in 2016 only. This number does not include permits that were issued in previous years and may have been assessed in 2016.
Note 2:
Operating permits include new permits issued in 2016 plus active permits that were issued in previous years.
Note 3:
ASAs are not operating permits, but have some similar characteristics. In 2016, there were 11 Safety Management Plans and 36 Equivalent Standard Approaches.

BCSA assesses regulated activities within the safety system to evaluate and enforce duty holders’ obligations under the Safety Standards Act and regulations. BCSA issues licences and certificates of qualification to businesses and individuals who conduct “hired” work under issued permits or on regulated equipment. Safety officers conduct physical assessments of permitted and regulated work and audits of management plans. These physical assessments and audits provide BCSA and our stakeholders with an understanding of strengths and weaknesses within the safety system and inform priorities for prevention, assessment and audit efforts.

For more details, please see the full State of Safety Report

Compliance Assessments
Hazard Assessments

During each physical assessment of regulated work, safety officers will identify hazards found and document the single highest hazard. These are referenced to be as-found hazards as they reflect what the safety officers discovered when they initially observed the duty holders’ work or equipment and not the condition following completion of the interaction with the safety officer. As-found hazards are important as they provide an indication of how well duty holders independently understand and fulfil their safety obligations under the safety system. Hazard rating assignments range from INSIGNIFICANT to SEVERE and are identified below. Definitions of these assignments are contained in BCSA's glossary.

Managing Safety Risks in BC

BCSA is committed to bringing clients and stakeholders into processes that build and refine the safety system, and we design our stakeholder engagement programs to accomplish this goal. In 2016, we participated in the following activities.

For more details, please see the full State of Safety Report

BCSA facilitates learning that leads to safety by sharing knowledge of hazards, safety best practices and changes to industry regulations and standards. Client education activities include presentations, discussions and conferences, as well as digital channels such as webinars, videos and courses. Client education activities in 2016 are shown below.

For more details, please see the full State of State of Safety Report

BCSA handles media requests and issues proactive media releases to warn of specific hazards, advise the public of steps they can take to reduce their risk of injury and provide comment and context to safety issues that are of interest to the media. In 2016 we shared safety information through 83 media releases, statements or interviews; 11 technology newsletters to 17,907 subscribers; and 962 tweets and retweets on Twitter. We produced more than 100 articles, which we shared with clients, stakeholders and the public.

For more details, please see the full State of Safety Report

BCSA issues licences to businesses that perform regulated work. BCSA also issues certificates of qualification to individuals who demonstrate a required level of knowledge and experience. Licensing and certification assures that minimum standards of knowledge and proficiency are maintained regarding the completion of regulated work.

For more details, please see the full State of Safety Report

Note 1:
The Railway Safety Act does not define the use of licences or certificates of qualification.
Note 2:
The Alternative Safety Approaches Regulation does not define the use of licences or certificates of qualification.

BCSA compels compliance with the Safety Standards Act where safety hazards are found, or individuals have resisted attempts to make their work or equipment compliant or have chosen to operate outside the safety system. Safety officers work with industry to establish compliance and address unsafe conditions. In some cases, as-found conditions result in the safety officer determining that the physical assessment has resulted in a failed condition, which requires the duty holder to correct certain non-compliances before proceeding with additional work. In some cases, a safety order may be issued to address safety hazards. However, where those efforts do not achieve results, BCSA may issue a compliance order or warning notice and, eventually, a sanction (such as a monetary penalty or discipline order) in accordance with the Safety Standards Act. A listing of all enforcement actions taken by BCSA is is available at www.safetyauthority.ca/enforcement.

For more details, please see the full State of Safety Report

Note 1:
Failed physical assessments, safety orders and warning notices are compliance actions. Compliance orders and sanctions are enforcement actions.
Note 2:
Physical assessments where the safety officer has assessed that the regulated work was found NOT sufficiently compliant with the Safety Standards Act, regulations and/or applicable technical code(s) and that require the duty holder to correct non-compliances.
Note 3:
Safety orders may require one or several duty holders to address and resolve safety hazards. Details on safety orders issued are online at www.safetyauthority.ca/regulations.
Note 4:
Listed categories of enforcement actions are not defined in the Railway Safety Act.

BCSA uses regulatory instruments to assist with the administration of the Safety Standards Act and the Railway Safety Act. Safety orders are issued to prevent or reduce the risk of personal injury or damage to property. Directives are instruments that clarify or provide an interpretation of a regulation or code. Compliance with safety orders and directives is mandatory and enforceable by BCSA. Information bulletins provide helpful information and clarification on existing regulations or codes. BCSA also works with the Province of British Columbia to amend the acts and regulations. Amendments have been initiated by BCSA through a recommendation for amendment submission to the provincial government.

For more details, please see the full State of Safety Report

Understanding and Managing Safety Risks in BC by Industry Sector

Electrical  
Boilers, Pressure Vessels and Refrigeration  
Gas  
Elevating Devices  
Railway  
Passenger Ropeways  
Amusement Devices  
Alternative Safety Approaches  

The State of Safety provides an account of BCSA’s efforts in the oversight of the Safety Standards Act in BC during 2016. There were many activities in 2016 that supported the collective understanding and management of safety. Some were isolated, some were directly connected to each other in their effort, while others represented a network of efforts spanning years, jurisdictions, organizations and borders.

Each activity is part of a safety story. Here, we share a few stories that illustrate our approach to safety oversight and showcase our connected and collaborative efforts toward our vision: Safe technical systems. Everywhere.

BCSA-led boiler investigation influences global standards

Have you ever waited a moment too long to light a barbecue and been surprised by the “whoosh” as built-up gas ignites? Safety professionals call this a “hard light-off” or delayed ignition and, if you are outside, the result is typically a yelp followed by jokes about singed eyebrows. But in many circumstances, it’s no laughing matter.

read more


BCSA takes leading role to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

Each year in BC, numerous carbon monoxide (CO) incidents are reported to the authorities. Some come via 911 from panicked homeowners who have been alerted by their CO detector sounding. Others come from contractors, technicians and utility employees who have identified fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, boilers, water heaters or fireplaces that are not working properly.

read more


Enforcing compliance with safety regulations: A shared responsibility

It was like finding a ticking time bomb: a 240-volt electrical distribution panel with no safety cover under the back deck of a suburban home. Anyone accessing the panel would need to stand in an inch of water that saturated the ground under the deck. There was no lighting in this dark, damp area, so the danger was difficult to spot. It was also completely accessible through an unlocked door, posing a severe shock hazard to anyone who might come in contact with the panel.

read more


Incident Summary & Case Studies

Incident Summaries

View a full listing of closed incident investigations for 2016 in all industry sectors.

Incident Investigation Summary Reports

In 2016 BCSA began implementing changes to our incident investigation program. These investigations are now published on our website to improve learning and engagement opportunities with the public and regulated workers.

Case Studies

Collecting information on incidents over a period of time allows BCSA to uncover important safety trends. We have prepared multi-year case studies on the following topics which provide an in-depth view at some key risks in specific technologies:

 Ammonia Release Incidents (2007-2015)

 Carbon monoxide Incidents (2007-2015)

 Deropement Incidents (January 2009-June 2016)

 Elevator Levelling Incidents (2009-2015)


For more details, please see the full State of Safety Report