WorkSafeBC Proposes Changes to Health and Safety Regulation
The Occupational First Aid Attendants Association participated in the review on the final day of hearings on proposed changes to the BC Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.
The four days of Public Hearings, chaired by Anne Burch, were held around the province and were the opportunity to express opinions about some revisions before a draft goes to the Board of Directors.
There were a limited number of presenters at the June 7th Richmond public hearing as the majority of the proposed changes to the Regulation appeared house keeping in nature.
Representatives of the BC Federation of Labour, the Council of Construction Associations (COCA), Atlas Anchor Systems, RJC Engineering, and the OFAAABC provided their input regarding the proposed regulation revisions.
In the course of providing input on “Part 11 Fall Protection” regarding wording changes to Anchor, Anchorage and the various definitions of the proposed amendments, RJC and OFAAABC commented that the proposed wording changes seemed to result in unintended effects both to engineering practices and how work might be conducted in the field.
At the afternoon session June 7th Atlas Anchor System recommended that WorkSafeBC use industry terminology such as CSA and ANSI wording rather than developing its own terms and meanings.
RJC commented about built in place engineered anchor points typically used for post construction activities like window washing anchors and was looking for a clarity in the regulation and noted there is little in the regulation on clear labeling of anchors intended for a travel restriction system compared to those used for a fall arrest system. RJC was also looking for clarification regarding wording on the annual inspections in the proposed regulation and its practical affects on the industry as the wording could be read to include manufactured concrete anchor straps cast into columns during the construction process.
OFAAABC provided input on Part 11 about how misinterpretations can develop depending on whether the Regulation is viewed from a post construction anchor system or for fall arrest used during construction and emphasized a need for clear definitions when defining a fall arrest system to ensure workers and supervisors clearly understand the regulation and how to apply it correctly in field conditions.
It became apparent in discussions after the close of the hearing between a WorkSafeBC engineer, RJC and the OFAAABC that there may be a need to provide fall protection wording for post construction separate from fall arrest requirements required during construction. It remains to be seen how this might be managed. WorkSafeBC invited RJC and OFAAABC to participate in future discussions on the proposed amendments to Fall Protection. Both RJC and the OFAAABC agreed to participate and provide perspective from the applied engineering practices in the field and multiple design conditions and from the perspective of using the equipment in actual day to day operations from a worker, supervisor, and safety officer perspective.
The OFAAABC also provided recommendations on proposed wording in “Part 12 Tools, Machinery and Equipment”, and on insulated elevated work platforms in “Part 13 Ladders, Scaffolds, and Temporary Work Platforms” to have a reference directing the reader to Part 19 where the regulation is proposed to be moved to.
We invite all our Provincial Members and their associates to provide input now for Part 11 Fall Protection and to participate in the review of future regulatory change proposals.