Staged regulatory amendments to BC safety regulations
By HPAC MagazineEngineering Heating Human Resources Management
BC Safety Authority has issued an information bulletin to explain how Ministerial Order M065, which was deposited in February 2017, amends the Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation (PEBPVRSR); Elevating Devices Safety Regulation (EDSR); Gas Safety Regulation (GSR); and Safety Standards General Regulation (SSGR). While the order includes several repeals, substitutions, additions and strikeouts, there are significant amendments that will come into effect in stages.
- Schedules 2 and 3 of the order amend the SSGR to empower a provincial safety manager to attach terms and conditions on any class of certificate of qualification, including its renewal and maintenance. This was previously only provided for in the GSR. Moving the provision to the SSGR implements consistent processes for managing certificates of qualification across regulated technologies. Consequential amendments are also made to the GSR, EDSR and PEBPVRSR. This amendment to the SSGR took effect March 8, 2017, 15 days after the order was deposited. The changes below to the GSR and PEBPVRSR also took effect on that date.
- Section 5 (2) of the GSR has been deleted and moved to section 2.2 of the SSGR. This expands the authority for provincial safety managers to specify terms and conditions for the renewal and maintenance to all classes of certificates of qualification issued under the Safety Standards Act.
- Section 42 (2) of the PEBPVRSR has been deleted. The authority to specify renewal terms for pressure welder certificates of qualification is now covered by the new SSGR section 2.2.
- Schedule 4 amends the PEBPVRSR to deem that certificates of qualification issued under it which do not have an expiry date, will expire on December 3, 2018. This requires certificate holders to renew their certificates of qualification for them to remain valid. BC is currently the only province in Canada that does not require power engineers to renew their certificates. This has created many issues related to the inability to track and monitor an active power engineer workforce in BC. The changes to the regulation will remedy those issues. Additional information will be available as October 2, 2017 draws nearer.
- This amendment takes effect October 2, 2017.
- An application to renew a transitional certificate may be submitted from October 2, 2017 to December 2, 2018. No fee will be applied to first renewal applications received during this period.
- An application to reinstate an expired transitional certificate must be submitted before December 2, 2019. Reinstatement fees will be applied to certificate holders in this category.
- Applications to renew a certificate that are received subsequent to December 2, 2019 will be subject to fees. Applicants may also be required to pass one or more exams and/or provide evidence of current employment as a power engineer.
- BC currently does not require boiler plants to be registered as a whole. Instead, only individual pieces of equipment require operating permits. As individual units are not tied together into a cohesive unit within the BCSA database, this makes it very difficult to quantify the number and types of plants there are in BC. Moreover, the lack of information results in delays to process applications for power engineer exams because the qualifying (i.e., firing) time is not easy to verify. Having an operating permit associated with a plant will promote processing efficiency for power engineer applicants and will also provide plant owners with a confirmation of the classification of their plant. Accordingly, Schedule 4 amends the PEBPVRSR to require plant owners to hold an operating permit for the following types of plant: first class plant; second class plant; third class plant; fourth class plant; fifth class plant; and oil well plant.
- This amendment takes effect October 2, 2017.
- An application for an operating permit may be submitted from October 2, 2017 to October 1, 2019. No operating permit fee will be applied to applications received during this period. Affected plants in BC that do not have an operating permit in place after October 1, 2019 will not be in compliance with regulatory requirements and may be subject to enforcement actions.
- For certainty, the requirement for a plant operating permit is in addition to operating permit requirements for individual pieces of equipment.
- Schedule 5 amends the SSGR to define “international credential” as an official recognition issued in a jurisdiction outside Canada that authorizes the holder to perform work (in the other jurisdiction). This work is equivalent to regulated work that is required, under the Safety Standards Act, to be performed only by the holder of a valid certificate of qualification issued under the Safety Standards Act. At present, the PEBPVRSR only allows individuals from abroad to write exams at an entry level (e.g., 4th or 5th Class) regardless of the education and training they have undergone. These changes will provide an opportunity for individuals, who already hold an international credential similar to that of a power engineer in Canada, to have their international credential and work experience evaluated for the purposes of challenging exams at higher than entry level.
- This amendment takes effect December 15, 2017.
- Applications for evaluation of internationally-trained worker credentials may be submitted starting December 15, 2017.
- Applicants with international credentials must demonstrate training and work experience equivalent to that required under the PEBPVRSR in order to be eligible to take examinations.
BC Safety Authority is working on developing related processes, as well as fee schedules (subject to consultations), to make the amendments operational. BCSA will issue information bulletins and directives to guide clients throughout this process.
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