HRAI GTA Chapter meeting features TSSA’s Sat Virdi
By Beth McKayHPAC General
On January 26, HRAI held its Greater Toronto Area chapter meeting in Vaughan, ON. The evening event attracted nearly 60 guests and featured speakers Karin Fahey, strategic account manager with CSA Group and Sat Virdi, regional supervisor for Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA).
Fahey discussed the CSA app and used the B149.1 – Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code, which is now available as an interactive standard, as an example of how interactive standards work.
Interactive Standards for codes offer an e-book format that is optimized for a tablet device and scalable to smaller screen devices as well. They feature a quick reference capability and a search by rule, topic or keyword option. Users can zoom in on colour images, charts and schematics and can view their search history and set bookmarks for future reference. The CSA app is available through the Apple Store.
Following Fahey’s presentation, Virdi’s discussion revolved around compliance to rules and codes in the workspace. He shared two case studies and a number of examples where contractors disregarded obvious red flag situations, as well as their training.
Virdi focussed the first half of his presentation on gas leaks, showing a photo of a contractor searching for a gas leak with a lighter. “How do you stop that?” he asked, noting that this contractor was putting lives at risk by not being compliant.
A discussion surrounding gas leaks progressed into the importance of having a locate of gas pipes prior to digging. Though presenting a locate is not a new law, Virdi said it is still not being complied with. “With any excavation of the ground, you are breaking the law without a locate to show,” he said. Virdi explained that locates are not difficult to obtain, and receiving one is a free service.
The second case study revolved around a CO fatality as a result of a faulty boiler. Prior to the incident, a contractor had recently inspected the system but did not fix or report the problem. Virdi showed images of the boiler, noting visible corrosion, peeling paint and a diverter that was missing from the appliance – all red flags that the boiler was not working properly.
“There is no excuse for that,” said Virdi, “The contractor was jailed, fined and is now not allowed to practise.”
Virdi encourages contractors to ask themselves, “why am I here, and what are my options,” when arriving at a jobsite. He believes that answering these questions will help to keep contractors out of troubling situations.
The chapter meetings run from February to May and again in October and November. For further information contact Kim Stark, tel. 416.556.0579 or e-mail K.Stark@IndustrialAdmin.ca.