Incident and Hazard Reporting to BCSA - Electrical

4 April 2017

Reference #:  IB-EL 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, and section 34 of the Safety Standards General 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:
a)     Property damage or injury focuses on the impact that the failed equipment may have had outside the boundaries of the product, work or operation.
b)     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.

When to Report Incidents and Hazards to BC Safety Authority
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, BC Safety Authority does not investigate all reported incidents and may not follow-up unless there is an intention to investigate.

Summaries of all reported incidents and completed investigations can be accessed via BC Safety Authority’s website 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 Electrical Incidents and Hazards

Electrical incidents that are required to be reported

  • Fires that have a reasonable suspicion of being caused by electrical equipment or infrastructure
  • Electrical shocks
  • Arc Flash occurrences
  • Electrical consumer product failures that result in injury or damage (notifications should include product manufacturer, type, make, model and certification body (ie, CSA or ULc)
  • Any other electrical product failure

Electrical occurrences that are not reportable incidents (to BC Safety Authority)
Electrical incidents occurring within the following municipalities are not under the jurisdiction of BC Safety Authority and should be reported to the municipality:

  • Burnaby                              604-294-7944
  • Maple Ridge                        604-463-5221
  • North Vancouver (city)          604-985-7761
  • North Vancouver (district)     604-990-2311
  • Surrey                                 604-591-4011
  • Vancouver                           604-873-7011
  • Victoria                               250-385-5711
  • West Vancouver                  604-925-7000

  • Electrical power or supply outages
  • Electrical incidents where BC Hydro is the Authority Having Jurisdiction
  • Circuit breaker trips or blown fuses
  • Electrical appliances, products or equipment that no longer function but remain in a safe OFF condition

Examples of Electrical hazards that should be reported to BC Safety Authority

  • Live or exposed electrical equipment
  • Water in contact with or close proximity to exposed electrical equipment or work
  • Foreign debris or combustible material that presents a risk of fire or malfunction to the equipment
  • Unrepairable or unserviceable appliances that are in use or available for use
  • Incomplete electrical work that could result in a fire or exposure to electrical energy
  • Combustible material in close proximity to regulated equipment that has or will cause the equipment to operate in an unsafe manner
  • Regulated electrical work being completed by:
  • unlicenced businesses or
  • persons not qualified for the work
  • Unpermitted work or operation of electrical equipment (including, but not limited to use and/or installation of unapproved, not-mounted control panels/temporary electrical services)

Ulrich Janisch                                                                Jeff Coleman, P.Eng.
Provincial Safety Manager                                              Provincial Safety Manager
Electrical                                                                       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