In 2011, the Legislative Assembly made changes to British Columbia's Safety Standards Act to give owners and operators of equipment covered by the Act more flexibility in how they manage safety.
The Alternative Safety Approaches Regulation, which came into effect April 1, 2011, provides the following two approaches for owners/operators. These approaches are voluntary and optional.
- An Equivalent Standard Approach (ESA): A limited-scope alternative safety approach that applies to a limited aspect of an installation or operation.
- Safety management plan (SMP): A broad-scope alternative safety approach that may include the safety of all regulated product or equipment and regulated work at an entire facility.
For more information about Alternative Safety Approaches and how BCSA can help your organization implement these alternatives, please visit the ASA section of our website.
In developing the manuals and processes to support the ASA, BC Safety Authority conducted a series of consultations with stakeholders to gain insight and input into the program. The Safety Standards 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.