Managing Safety Risks: Inspections
Technical Safety BC assesses the safety of work through in-person and remote inspections and by using predictive algorithms that support safety officer decision making. As a risk-based regulator, we use a combination of advanced analytics and expertise to identify the greatest sources of potential harm to the safety of British Columbians. This combination of technology and expertise enables us to target the highest risk systems, while optimizing efficiency and effort.
Assessments help Technical Safety BC confirm that owners are complying with the Safety Standards Act and associated regulations. Permit-holding contractors will provide information for inspections, and our safety officers will step in when their expertise is needed. In our high-volume energy technologies, Electrical and Gas, every permit that we receive is first assessed by a predictive Machine Learning algorithm that returns a risk score. This risk score is provided to our Safety Officers, who use their expertise to determine whether further assessment, in person or virtual, is required.
Note: We use “assessment” to refer to the overall safety assessment, whereas inspection refers only to the type of evaluation made by our safety officers.
In-person and Remote Inspections
Navigating the impacts of COVID-19 continues to change the way assessments are performed. With our clients’ and employees’ safety in mind, remote inspections are in important method of assessment. In-person inspections continue to be performed when we determine them to be critical to the safety system.
Structured Resource Allocation
Since 2020, we have used a Structured Resource Allocation (SRA) model to generate predictive insights from past and real-time assessment data. Model outputs facilitate safety officer decision-making with respect to ongoing assessment activities and the deployment of resources, enabling safety officers to focus on assessments where there is a higher probability of finding safety hazards.
The algorithms are dynamic and adapt with data inputs from safety officers across technologies, contributing to continued focus on, and resource allocation to, those areas that present higher probable risk. This enables safety officers to optimize oversight.
Remote assessments are based on the same principles as in-person inspections, with an emphasis on hazard identification. They have more similarity to audits and include review of documentation, photos, videos, video conference, and also speaking with the client through phone, video calls, and email.
In 2021, 28,018 remote inspections were completed, compared to 20,158 completed in 2020. Technical Safety BC recognized the opportunity to strengthen client connections during the pandemic through the standardization and application of remote assessments. Enhancing protocols around remote assessments expands our reach and safety oversight.
Compliance of Duty Holder's Work by Technology in 2021 (Remote Inspections)
As-Found Hazard Assessments by Technology in 2021 (Remote Inspections)
Compliance of duty holders' work
At Technical Safety BC, we refer to a person who owns regulated products or performs regulated work as a duty holder. When physically assessing the work of a duty holder, our safety officers provide a rating of:
|Pass||The safety officer has assessed that the regulated work and/or regulated product was found to comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations, and/or applicable technical code(s).|
|Conditional Pass||The safety officer has assessed that the regulated work and/or regulated product was found to not comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations, and/or applicable technical code(s). Further regulated work may only be undertaken as directed on the certificate of inspection, while the identified non-compliances are being corrected.|
|Fail||The safety officer has assessed that the regulated work and/or regulated product was found to not comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations, and/or applicable technical code(s). Further regulated work on the affected system or phase of work, and/or operation of the regulated equipment must not be undertaken until the identified non-compliances have been corrected.|
Compliance of Duty Holder's Work by Technology in 2021 (Physical Inspections)
Technical Safety BC completes investigations on certain incidents reported to us in all technologies except for rail. We do not have jurisdiction to investigate rail incidents. We investigate incidents reported to us when:
- Regulated work or regulated equipment is involved.
- Evidence is available to help determine causes and contributing factors.
- A learning opportunity exists to understand and document what caused the incident and to inform prevention of similar incidents.
|Under Assessment||Still being assessed by Technical Safety BC and was not assigned to a category as of time of data collection.|
|Severe||An incident that resulted with a fatal injury and/or severe equipment damage.|
|Major||An incident that resulted with major injury and/or major equipment damage.|
|Moderate||An incident that resulted with moderate injury and/or equipment damage.|
|Minor||An incident that resulted with minor injury and/or minor equipment damage.|
|Insignificant||An incident that resulted with insignificant and/or insignificant equipment damage.|
As-Found Hazard Assessments by Technology in 2021 (Physical Inspections)
Sharing safety knowledge
In 2021, we expanded the remote inspection program by developing digital tools that help clients more efficiently upload images, communicate virtually, and better prepare for assessments before contacting safety officers. Safety officers continued to perform in-person inspections at mandatory and high-hazard sites and where there were opportunities to educate communities about systemic issues.