British Columbia Safety Authority

British Columbia Safety Authority

June 16, 2010 18:00 ET

BC Safety Authority Steps Up Enforcement to Keep the Province Safe

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 16, 2010) - The BC Safety Authority (BCSA) announced at its annual public meeting on June 16 that enforcement plays a critical role in accident prevention in BC.

In 2009, 361 actions were taken by the BCSA for infractions – both minor and major – contrary to the BC Safety Standards Act. Enforcement actions ranged from compliance orders, monetary penalties, suspension or revocation of contractor licenses, and the suspension of permit privileges and certificates of qualifications.

The BCSA is the provincial regulator that oversees safety for a variety of equipment including amusement rides; boilers, pressure vessels and refrigeration systems; electrical equipment and systems; elevating devices such as elevators and escalators; gas appliances and systems; passenger ropeways such as ski lifts; and provincial railways.

"We want to inspire others to want to do the right thing. If they can't or won't, we must enforce the law," said Harry Diemer, President and CEO of the BCSA. "And as an organization, we are placing a greater emphasis on enforcement than in the past."

Enforcement is one of four areas under the Safety Authority's operating model that aims to prevent accidents and control risks. The others are inspection, research, and education and outreach.

Diemer explained that "enforcement levels the competitive playing field for those who comply with regulations and follow the rules."

At the annual meeting, the BC Safety Authority also reported on a number of 2009 milestones that reflected the organization's commitment to safety:

  • BCSA experts were part of a team providing regulatory oversight to the new Canada Line. Greater Vancouver is now one of the few major North American entities with a world-class transportation system serving its airport.
  • In a first for BC, the BCSA provided regulatory oversight of the conversion of Whistler from propane to natural gas, without a single major incident.
  • The BCSA developed an extensive and coordinated Olympic Safety Plan in preparation for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Plan ensured that Olympic-related venues under its jurisdiction were properly assessed, permitted, and operated by qualified personnel.

According to Diemer, "We impact every business, industry, institution and most individuals in BC. Our goal is to inspire others to want to do the right thing. We work to prevent hazards from getting into the environment in the first place and this proactive approach is what helps keep people safe."

In 2009, BCSA safety officers assessed:

  • over 300 amusement rides
  • over 11,500 boilers, pressure vessels and refrigeration systems
  • almost 36,000 electrical installations
  • over 3,200 elevating devices
  • over 12,400 gas installations
  • over 200 passenger ropeways

The Safety Authority also spent more than 3,500 hours conducting safety assessments of the 4 classes of railway operations.

The BCSA's 2009 Annual Report which was distributed during the meeting can be found online at http://www.safetyauthority.ca/about/publications.

The British Columbia Safety Authority keeps people safe by mandating the safe installation and use of technical equipment. The BCSA also issues permits and licences, educates, and conducts onsite inspections in high-risk situations.

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