The Legislative Assembly recently made changes to British Columbia's Safety Standards Act. These changes will provide owners and operators of equipment covered by the Act with the opportunity to take an "alternative safety approach" in order to comply with the objectives of the Act.
There are two options within the Alternative Safety Approaches program:
1. A Safety Management Plan, or
2. An Equivalent Standard Approach.
Both approaches provide the owners or operators of equipment with flexibility in how to manage safety. A Safety Management Plan is a broad approach and includes the safety of an entire facility, while an Equivalent Standard Approach applies to one aspect of an installation or operation. It is important to understand that these approaches are voluntary and optional.
For a brief overview on Alternative Safety Approaches, please read the Alternative Safety Approaches Backgrounder.
Reasons for the change
The 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.
Who can apply
The initial focus of the safety management plans will be on the bioenergy sector to support the BC Bioenergy Strategy. Over time, all industry sectors regulated by BC Safety Authority may have the option of a Safety Management Plan.
Alternative Safety Approaches consultation
- 5 regional stakeholder sessions held across the province.
- Sessions held with the Province of BC representatives, local governments with delegated authority to administer the Safety Standards Act, and the Boiler Technology Committee.
- 2 workshop sessions on the application of Alternative Safety Approaches in the bioenergy industry.
A consolidated summary of the issues raised at these consultation sessions is now available. For further information on Alternative Safety Approaches, you can view or download the slideshow from the consultation sessions.
Consultation on the Proposed Costs for Alternative Safety Approach/Safety Management Plan Clients
Consultation meetings on the proposed fee schedule for Safety Management Plans wereheld across the province in January and February 2011. Results of the consultation, including the final fee schedule, can be found in the report on Consultative Sessions with Stakeholders on the Proposed Pricing of Safety Management Plans (May 2011). Fees for Alternative Safety Approaches, including Safety Management Plans and Equivalent Standard Approaches, will be effective July 20, 2011.
Guidelines for clients applying for Safety Management Plans are currently being drafted.
Alternative Safety Approaches Industry Consultation (July 2010):
Proposed Fees for Alternative Safety Approaches-Safety Management Plans Consultation (January 2011):
Proposed Fee Schedule for Alternative Safety Approaches-Safety Management Plans: Discussion Paper (January 2011)
Supplementary Information to Proposed Fee Schedule: Service Delivery Information (January 2011)
Feedback Form for Proposed Fee Schedule for Alternative Safety Approaches-Safety Management Plans: Discussion Paper (January 2011)
Consultative Sessions with Stakeholders on the Proposed Pricing of Safety Management Plans (May 2011)