About Us

Our Jurisdiction

Technical Safety BC administers the Safety Standards Act and Railway Safety Act throughout British Columbia.

If you are installing, operating, manufacturing, altering, maintaining, or selling equipment in any of the technologies we regulate, you may be within Technical Safety BC jurisdiction. You can find out if your work is within our jurisdiction by reviewing the information below.

Technical Safety BC delivers safety services across the following technologies:

  • Electrical equipment and systems.
  • Natural gas and propane appliances and systems, including hydrogen.
  • Boilers, pressure vessels, and refrigeration systems.
  • Elevating devices, such as elevators and escalators.
  • Passenger ropeways, such as aerial trams and ski lifts.
  • Amusement devices.
  • Railways, including commuter rail.
  • Alternative Safety Approaches, which encompass complex and integrated technical systems involving several technologies.

Although Technical Safety BC oversees the safe installation and operation of technical systems across the province, some exemptions do exist in certain municipalities.

There are 10 municipalities that are delegated portions of the Safety Standards Act to issue electrical and/or gas permits and to perform assessments. Technical Safety BC typically does not issue permits or perform assessments for electrical or gas work and equipment in these areas. Because of this, it’s important to make sure you’re within Technical Safety BC jurisdiction before applying for a permit or requesting an assessment from us.

For gas, your local government can issue natural gas installation permits for:

  • Fully detached dwellings serviced by a single meter at 2 psig (14 kPa) or less;
  • Any premise other than a fully detached dwelling if the gas meter pressure is 2 psi (14 kPa) or less and the total connected load is 409,600 BTU/hr (120 kW) or less.

Technical Safety BC has jurisdiction over all other regulated gases such as propane, methane, and hydrogen.

Although these 10 jurisdictions have oversight for electrical and/or gas, Technical Safety BC still oversees contractor licensing and certification of qualified individuals and provides oversight for all other technologies we regulate.

We also work closely with local governments to share safety information and standardize application of the Safety Standards Act.

Local governments that issue their own permits and perform their own electrical and/or gas assessments:

Federally regulated sites may be owned or operated by the Government of Canada, a federal agency or crown corporation, or relate to a private entity working in an industry that is federally regulated, such as shipping, aviation, or telecommunications.

As a result of recent case law regarding the division of powers between federal and provincial regulation, the Safety Standards Act applies throughout BC unless there is a conflict between the Safety Standards Act and federal regulations which apply on a particular site. A conflict generally arises where it is not reasonably possible for a person to comply with both the Safety Standards Act and the applicable federal legislation and regulations.

Technical Safety BC would like to confirm that the Safety Standards Act applies to sites that are owned or operated by the federal government in BC. As a result, contractors and owners are required to take out installation permits and operating permits from Technical Safety BC for regulated equipment, and to comply with all other requirements of the Act.

We understand that some owners and contractors have recently been advised by some federal agencies that Technical Safety BC does not have jurisdiction on federal sites and that operating permits are not required. We disagree with this interpretation, and are currently engaging with various federal agencies to reach an agreement on permit requirements for federal sites. In the interest of safety it is our position that all duty holders take out operating permits to ensure appropriate safety oversight of regulated equipment.

Technical Safety BC administers the Safety Standards Act and the Railway Safety Act which apply throughout British Columbia. This means that any regulated work on First Nations land, whether by Indigenous or non-Indigenous contractors, will require all necessary permits, licenses and certifications.

The Safety Standards Act and Railway Safety Act may not apply on First Nations land in certain situations depending on the terms of a treaty or conflicting federal legislation.

Technical Safety BC recognizes that we cannot promote equitable access to safety for all communities across BC without first developing and increasing our internal capacity for meaningful and respectful relationships with Indigenous communities and Nations. We continue to develop respectful engagement principles and increase the cultural competency of our employees through dialogue with Indigenous communities throughout the province.

In recognition of the rights of Indigenous people in Canada, including the right to self-determination, we hope that this approach will open the door for innovative models of safety oversight created by and in partnership with Indigenous communities.

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