Understanding Safety Risks: Emerging Risks
In 2021, noteworthy emerging risks included safety risks associated with extreme weather and climate resiliency, and work done by unlicensed individuals.
1. Extreme weather and climate resiliency
In 2021, the changing climate resulted in difficult weather conditions, including heat waves, wildfires, floods, and extreme cold. As these events become more common, people suffer personal and economic hardship, as well as increased risks. Every technology that Technical Safety BC regulates was impacted by the challenging environmental conditions.
As we build resiliency and prepare for a changing climate, we recognize that we must remain agile to best serve our clients. This includes collecting data on hazards related to extreme weather events, understanding how to aid in recovery, assessing emerging risks from gradual changes to climate over the lifecycle of technologies, and preparing to regulate new kinds of equipment.
Our 2021 public safety campaigns focused on raising awareness for the technology-related hazards caused by wildfires, floods, and extreme cold.
In addition, as new low-carbon technologies enter the market such as heat pumps, electric vehicle energy management systems, hydrogen, and new types of refrigerants, we must be responsive and ready to intervene with programs designed to assure their safety. We also must understand how climate change will impact current technical systems and equipment, and build resiliency by adjusting our risk control activities.
2. Continued work by unlicensed individuals
Licensed contractors perform regulated work and make sure equipment is installed properly. While there are no numbers on how much regulated work is performed annually by unlicensed individuals, the danger this presents is significant.
Changes to the Safety Standards Act and Safety Standards General Regulation, will strengthen the public’s ability to identify which contractors are licensed and legally allowed to perform work in BC. Effective September 6, 2022, contractors will be required to publish their company name and Technical Safety BC licence number when advertising their services to the public. This year, Technical Safety BC is seeking input from contractors to establish guidelines that more clearly define these rules, including what forms of advertising should require the company name and licence number and what forms should be exempt.