Alternative Safety Approaches


Safety Alternatives for Owners and Operators of Regulated Equipment

An Alternative Safety Approach or ASA provides a variance to existing regulations, codes or standards. This is done by approving a safety management system or plan that details alternative methods to achieving an equivalent or superior level of safety.

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Alternative Safety Approaches Regulation

In 2011, the Legislative Assembly made changes to BC's Safety Standards Act to give owners and operators of equipment covered by the Act more flexibility in how they manage safety.

The Alternative Safety Approaches Regulation, which came into effect April 1, 2011, provides the following two approaches for owners/operators. These approaches are voluntary and optional.

  1. An Equivalent Standard Approach (ESA): A limited-scope alternative safety approach that applies to a limited aspect of an installation or operation.
  2. Safety management plan (SMP): A broad-scope alternative safety approach that may include the safety of all regulated product or equipment and regulated work at an entire facility.

ASA Consultation

In developing the manuals and processes to support the ASA, we conducted a series of consultations with stakeholders to gain insight and input into the program. The Safety Standards Act was changed in response to stakeholder concerns regarding the prescriptive nature of many regulations. With the changes, owners and operators may now:

  • Streamline the approval of new and innovative technologies;
  • Use alternative approaches where prescriptive regulations are perceived to be a barrier to trade and investment; and
  • Adopt and implement best practices for managing safety as established in other jurisdictions.

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