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Process Safety Initiative

Process safety focuses on preventing catastrophic outcomes through systematic identification and management of risks in worksites engaged in potentially hazardous processes.

Process safety is a proactive form of risk assessment combined with engineering that focuses on preventing catastrophic fires, explosions, accidental chemical releases, and structural collapses, especially in facilities that use, process, and handle hazardous materials. Process safety involves the prevention of leaks, spills, equipment malfunctions, corrosion, component failures, and upset conditions that present serious risks to the health and safety of workers and potentially the public.

Goals

The goals of the 2018–2020 Process Safety Initiative are to: 

  • Ensure that employers engaged in complex work processes address the potential for catastrophic events through identifying hazards and managing critical controls
  • Promote a greater worker awareness and participation in process safety management

Approaches

  • Focus on workplaces engaged in complex work processes, such as those in chemical processing, oil and gas, pellet mills, pulp mills and other wood processing, and biomass energy production
  • Establish a dedicated WorkSafeBC Process Safety Team
  • Provide information and resources to employers and workers
  • Partner with other regulators to further process safety risk mitigation
  • Conduct site inspections focusing on critical risk and critical controls

Deliverables and timelines

Activities Details
Information and resources
Q1–Q4 2019
  • Provide information and resources to employers and workers through various means, including worksite visits from safety officers, presentations to industry, and through utilizing the reach of industry organizations, worksafebc.com, and the process safety initiative team
  • Coordinate with industry associations and other regulatory agencies to develop and provide presentations and training relating to process safety elements that are specific to particular industries
Q1–Q4 2019
  • For waste-to-energy process facilities and any other identified employers, meet with employers to discuss hazard identification and risk control and how they assess for a potential catastrophic situation
  • For waste-to-energy process facilities and any other identified employers, conduct a survey focusing on how employers identify and manage risk
Inspections
Q1–Q4 2019
  • Conduct Phase I inspections focusing on key hazards for waste-to-energy process facilities
  • Conduct Phase II follow-up inspections, consultations, education, and additional enforcement activities for employers in all sectors inspected as part of Phase I

Updates and results

As part of our strategic initiative to develop measures to assess the effectiveness of prevention activities, we are providing updates of our High Risk Strategies and Industry Initiatives.

Note: To save space in bulleted lists, our update documents may refer to occupational health and safety as OHS. All references to the Act, refer to Part Three of the Workers Compensation Act. Penalties and warning letters reported in updates may have been initiated by inspections in a previous quarter.

Related resources