Incident and Hazard Reporting to BCSA - Gas

4 April 2017

Reference #:  IB-GA 2017-03

A.   General Details
This information bulletin is being issued to clarify incident reporting requirements. It is issued with respect to sections 36 and 37 of the Safety Standards Act, section 34 of the Safety Standards General Regulation and section 54 of the Gas Safety Regulation.

How to Report Incidents and Hazards to BC Safety Authority

For emergency assistance call 911 or your local police or fire department directly.

Incidents and hazards are to be reported to BC Safety Authority through our website reporting portal at https://portal.safetyauthority.ca/report-to-bcsa or go to our website at www.safetyauthority.ca and click “Report to BCSA”. Alternatively, duty holders may call our customer service line at 1-866-566-7233.

Note: voicemail and email messages made to BC Safety Authority employees concerning incidents and hazards are not considered to have been reported to BC Safety Authority as required by regulation.

Definitions

Incident: A failure of a regulated product, work or operation that causes:
a)     damage to property, personal injury or death
b)     damage to safety features
 Note:

  • Property damage or injury focuses on the impact that the failed equipment may have had outside the boundaries of the product, work or operation.
  • Damage to safety features relates to failures where the damage:
    • is limited to the failed product, work or operation and
    • does not render the product or activity inoperative and
    • impairs the safety feature’s effectiveness.

Safety feature: An aspect of a product’s design, installation, maintenance or operation that is intended to prevent people or property from being exposed to a hazard.

Hazard: A source of potential harm to persons or potential damage to property.

Duty holder: A person or company who is responsible for compliance because they either own regulated products, or perform regulated work.

Reporting of Incidents to BC Safety Authority

The following duty holders are required to report all incidents to BC Safety Authority:

  • Person in charge of a regulated product or regulated work
  • Owner of the regulated product
  • Permit holder
  • Person authorized to perform or performing regulated work
  • Person authorized to operate or operating a regulated product
  • An officer or employee of a utility
  • Owner of a plant (as defined in the regulations)

Only one incident report per incident is required.

Duty to Preserve Incident Site for Investigation
A person must not remove, disturb or interfere with anything in, on or about the place where the incident occurred except as necessary to rescue a person, prevent injury or to protect property unless directed by a safety officer or safety manager.

Reporting of Hazards to BC Safety Authority
Hazards are required to be prevented or immediately corrected by duty holders that are responsible for the regulated product, work or operation. Hazards must be immediately reported to BC Safety Authority when:

  • it is not known that the hazard is being corrected by the duty holder or
  • the same or similar hazards have been repeatedly observed and are associated with the same duty holder.

Unrepairable Appliances (Gas) - Reporting to BC Safety Authority
The gas safety regulation requires that:
54 (1) A person who finds any gas appliance or gas equipment beyond repair or in an unsafe condition must:
(a) place the appliance or gas equipment out of service, and
(b) promptly notify a safety officer of its condition and location.

     (2) If the initial notification under subsection (1) (b) is verbal, it must be promptly confirmed by a written statement setting out the facts

Reporting of unrepairable gas appliances as hazards via BCSA’s web reporting portal  (https://portal.safetyauthority.ca/report-to-bcsa) satisfies a person’s obligation to report this condition.

When to Report Incidents and Hazards to BC Safety Authority
For emergency assistance call 911 or your local police or fire department directly.

Incidents:
Unless otherwise indicated, all incidents are to be reported within the following timeframes:

  • Incidents resulting in a moderate, major or fatal injury – immediately
  • Incidents resulting in moderate, major or severe damage – immediately
  • All other incidents – within 24 hours (or as soon as practicable).

Moderate injuries are those that, while serious, are considered unlikely have a significant effect to long-term quality of life. Examples include single limb fractures, concussions, disorientation.

Moderate damage is damage that results with controlled exposure to energy (ie. electrical, thermal, mechanical) or the limited/controlled release of substances intended to be contained.

Hazards:
All hazards as described in the ‘reporting of hazards’ section above are to be reported to BC Safety Authority immediately.

What to Expect After Reporting an Incident or Hazard to BC Safety Authority
BC Safety Authority tracks and investigates incidents and hazards that are reported to inform awareness and prevention initiatives. Consequently, BCSA does not investigate all reported incidents and may not follow-up with a notification unless there is an intention to investigate.

Summaries of all reported incidents and completed investigations can be accessed via BC Safety Authority at http://www.safetyauthority.ca/safety-information/incident-data. BC Safety Authority protects the identity of persons who report or may be involved with incidents or hazards.

Unless otherwise indicated, duty holders are required to preserve the equipment, products and items involved in an incident. BC Safety Authority will contact duty holders within 24 hours of the next regular business day following the report of an incident if more information is required or an investigation is planned to occur.

B.   Examples of Gas Incidents and Hazards

Gas incidents that are required to be reported:

  • Carbon monoxide (CO) exposures
    • where people are suspected of being exposed to CO as a result of gas equipment use
    • report after calling first responders such as the local gas utility or emergency response
    • Fires or explosions
      • where reasonable suspicion of being caused by gas equipment or gas systems exists
      • Uncontrolled release of gas or gas leak
        • report after calling first responders such as the local gas utility or emergency response
          Required Procedure if gas escapes
          A person who causes damage to a gas installation which results in the escape of gas must immediately take the steps reasonable in the circumstances to do all of the following:
          (a) notify the persons in any premises that may be affected;
          (b) notify the gas company;
          (c) warn all persons in any nearby building in which a gas odour is present to evacuate the building;
          (d) notify a member of the police force having jurisdiction in the place where the installation is located;
          (e) extinguish all flames and sources of ignition in the vicinity of the installation;
          (f) notify the nearest fire department;
          (g) warn traffic, vehicles and pedestrians not to enter the area rendered hazardous by the damage.
  • Gas consumer product failures that result in injury or damage
  • notifications should include product manufacturer, type, make, model and certification body (i.e. CSA, ULc)
    • Any other gas product failures that result in injury or damage

Gas occurrences that are not reportable incidents (to BC Safety Authority):

  • Natural gas incidents occurring in fully detached dwellings serviced by a single meter at 2 psi (14kpa) or less and any premise other than a fully detached dwelling if the gas meter pressure is 2 psi (14kpa) or less and the total connected load is 409,000 BTUH (120KW) or less within the following municipalities is not under the jurisdiction of BC Safety Authority and should be reported to the municipality:
  • Burnaby                        604-294-7944
  • Kelowna                                    250-469-8500
  • Maple Ridge                              604-463-5221
  • North Vancouver (city)                604-985-7761
  • North Vancouver (district)           604-990-2311
  • Richmond                                  604-276-4000
  • Vancouver                                 604-873-7011
  • Gas supply outages (unless large outages as described as a hazard below)
  • Gas appliances, products or equipment that no longer function but remain in a safe OFF condition

Examples of Gas hazards that should be reported to BC Safety Authority:

  • Unrepairable or unserviceable gas equipment that is in use or available for use
  • Uncapped gas lines where piping or tubing system is connected to the gas supply
  • Appliance Vents terminated or spilling products of combustion into enclosed or habited spaces
  • Incomplete gas work that could result in a gas leak, fire or exposure to combustion byproducts
  • Clearance requirements to combustible material not met causing the equipment to operate in an unsafe manner
  • Safety systems or limits bypassed or made ineffective
  • Gas supply outages that are large in nature, affecting large areas and/or numerous users where reactivation of the gas supply may present a risk to safety
  • Regulated gas work being completed by:
    • unlicenced businesses or
    • persons not certified for the work
    • Unpermitted work or operations

Brad Wyatt                                                                    Jeff Coleman, P.Eng.
Provincial Safety Manager                                              Provincial Safety Manager
Gas                                                                              Incident Investigations

References:
Safety Standards Act
Electrical Safety Regulation
Elevating Devices Safety Regulation
Gas Safety Regulation
Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel & Refrigeration Safety Regulation
Safety Standards General Regulation