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Guidelines Part 20 Contents

DEFINITIONS

G20.1 Construction project – routine maintenance

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

G20.2(1)/20.2.1(1) Notice of project
G20.2(1)(e) Bell holes
G20.2.1(1) and (2) Notice of project for asbestos – Ongoing work
G20.2.1(2)(c) Notice of project – Significant disturbance of lead-containing material New Item
G20.2.1(2)(d) Notice of project – Other similar exposure work activities
G20.3-1 Labour supply firms and construction employers – Responsibilities
G20.3-2 Qualified coordinators

SAFE WORK AREAS AND SAFE ACCESS

G20.4(1) Suitable ladders, work platforms, and scaffolds
G20.4(2) Suitable access for safe delivery of equipment and materials
G20.5(5) Responsibilities for employers to provide stairways to work levels during construction
G20.9 Protection from falling materials
G20.13(3.1) Ensuring loads do not exceed capacity of thrust-out platforms
G20.14 Temporary cribbing support in house lifting operations

CONCRETE FORMWORK AND FALSEWORK

G20.26 Inspections

CONCRETE PUMPING

G20.40 Use of outriggers on concrete pumping equipment
G20.47 Inspection and certification of concrete placing booms and masts

OPEN WEB JOISTS AND TRUSSES

G20.72 Open web joists and trusses

ROOF WORK

G20.75 Roof work – Fall protection
G20.77 Mechanical equipment

EXCAVATIONS

G20.78 Qualified registered professional and engineering documents
G20.78(1)(c) Vibration, hydrostatic pressure or hazardous ground movement
G20.78(1)(d) Ground slope adjacent to excavation work
G20.79 Underground utilities
G20.81 Sloping and shoring requirements
G20.85 Trench support structures

MARINE CONSTRUCTION, PILE DRIVING AND DREDGING

G20.102 Suspended work platforms in marine construction and pile driving activities

DEMOLITION

G20.112 Hazardous materials – Asbestos

Guidelines Part 20 - Definitions

G20.1 Construction project – Routine maintenance

Issued August 1999; Editorial Revision June 14, 2013

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.1 of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states

"construction project" means any erection, alteration, repair, dismantling, demolition, structural or routine maintenance, painting, land clearing, earth moving, grading, excavating, trenching, digging, boring, drilling, blasting, concreting, the installation of any machinery or any other work deemed to be construction by the Board;

Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to explain what routine maintenance is with respect to a construction project.

Routine maintenance
The definition of a construction project includes reference to "routine maintenance." Routine maintenance includes activities such as painting or glass replacement that are required as part of owning and operating a building or facility. An NOP is not required unless a particular maintenance project triggers one of the criteria listed in section 20.2 of the Regulation, for example, if the total cost of a painting project will exceed $100,000.

Guidelines Part 20 - General requirements

G20.2(1)/20.2.1(1) Notice of project

Issued August 1999; Editorial Revision October 2004; Editorial Revision February 25, 2013; Formerly issued as part of G20.2(1) – Re-issued as Editorial Revision consequential to May 1, 2017 Regulatory Amendment

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.2(1) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states, in part:

Subject to subsection (4) either the owner or the person engaged by the owner to be the prime contractor on a construction project must ensure that the Board receives, in writing, a notice of project that contains the information required by subsection (2) at least 24 hours before work on the construction project begins at the worksite if any of the following apply

Section 20.2.1(1) of the Regulation states:

Subject to subsections (3) and (6), if a construction project involves a work activity set out in subsection (2), all employers responsible for the work activity and either the owner or the person engaged by the owner to be the prime contractor on a construction project must ensure that the Board receives, in writing, a notice of project that contains the information required by subsection (4) at least 48 hours before work activity begins at the worksite.

Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to provide information on how to submit a notice of project (NOP) and to explain WorkSafeBC's discretion with respect to site inspections.

Submitting NOPs
NOP forms may be submitted online (preferred method) at https://www.worksafebc.com/en/for-employers/just-for-you/submit-notice-project.

A paper version of the NOP form may also be completed and submitted to WorkSafeBC. The forms can be ordered from WorkSafeBCStore.com.

WorkSafeBC prevention officers and managers monitor the notices regarding activity in their area and select projects for follow-up in accordance with their objectives, the nature of the project or other circumstances. WorkSafeBC is not obliged to initiate a site inspection in every case when an NOP is received.

G20.2(1)(e) Bell holes

Issued August 1999; Editorial Revision January 1, 2009; Formerly issued as part of G20.2(1)(f) – Re-issued as Editorial Revision consequential to May 1, 2017 Regulatory Amendment

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.2(1)(e) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

(1) Subject to subsection (4), either the owner or the person engaged by the owner to be the prime contractor on a construction project must ensure that the Board receives, in writing, a notice of project that contains the information required by subsection (2) at least 24 hours before work on the construction project begins at the worksite if any of the following apply:

(e) a worker may be required to enter

(i) A trench over 30 m (100 ft) long, or

(ii) An excavation, other than a trench, over 1.2 m (4 ft) deep.

Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to specify when bell holes are considered to be a trench.

Bell holes
Work around underground pipe and conduits usually involves digging "bell holes" for maintenance such as fixing leaks or breaks, or servicing valves. A bell hole is considered to be a trench, as long as the criteria in the definition for a trench in section 20.1 of the Regulation are met. This means its width at the bottom cannot exceed 3.7 metres (12 feet). If the work related to a bell hole excavation triggers one of the criteria listed in section 20.78 requiring a qualified registered professional or engineer's instructions, or invokes one of the criteria listed in section 20.2, an NOP is required.

G20.2.1(1) and (2) Notice of project for asbestos – Ongoing work

Issued November 19, 2008; Revised consequential to February 1, 2012 Regulatory Amendment; Formerly issued as part of G20.2(1)(c) – Re-issued as Editorial Revision consequential to May 1, 2017 Regulatory Amendment

Regulatory excerpt
Sections 20.2.1(1) and (2) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") state:

(1) Subject to subsections (3) and (6), if a construction project involves a work activity set out in subsection (2), all employers responsible for the work activity and either the owner or the person engaged by the owner to be the prime contractor on the construction project must ensure that the Board receives, in writing, a notice of project that contains the information required by subsection (4) at least 48 hours before the work activity begins at the worksite.

(2) The following are work activities for the purposes of subsection (1):

(a) a work activity that involves working with or in proximity to asbestos-containing material, as defined in section 6.1, that is a moderate risk work activity or a high risk work activity as defined in that section;

(b) the alteration, repair, dismantling or demolition of all or part of a building or structure in which asbestos-containing material has been processed, manufactured or stored;

(c) a work activity that significantly disturbs lead-containing material in buildings or structures;

(d) a work activity that is similar to those described in paragraphs (a) to (c) and that may expose workers to a significant risk of occupational disease from a biological or chemical agent or ionizing radiation.

Purpose of guideline
This guideline outlines the requirements for the submission of a notice of project for asbestos (NOP-Asbestos) for short-duration, intermittent repair or maintenance work. The guideline is for use by employers who conduct periodic repairs or other minor disturbances of friable asbestos-containing materials, as part of an ongoing operations and maintenance program. It is not intended for use by asbestos abatement contractors or restoration contractors.

Background information
There are situations where an employer may need to conduct a number of repair jobs of asbestos-containing material over an extended period. This is typically routine work, following a set of prescribed procedures for a variety of tasks, performed by assigned staff who are trained and supervised in these procedures. The NOP-Asbestos for ongoing work allows the employer to perform this work without submitting a separate NOP each time one of these routine tasks is performed.

When should an NOP-Asbestos be submitted?
The Regulation requires that an NOP-Asbestos be submitted at least 48 hours before beginning a moderate-risk work activity or a high-risk work activity, as defined in section 6.1, involving asbestos-containing material, or the alteration, repair, dismantling, or demolition of all or part of a building or structure where asbestos-containing material has been processed, manufactured, or stored.

NOP-Asbestos for ongoing intermittent repair or maintenance work
With the prior permission of WorkSafeBC, an employer may submit a single NOP-Asbestos for work with asbestos-containing material that may take place over an extended period of time. This will be of use to employers who conduct periodic minor repairs or other minor disturbances of asbestos-containing materials as part of an ongoing operations and maintenance program. An initial ongoing NOP-Asbestos will typically be accepted for a period of one year. A subsequent ongoing NOP-Asbestos may be accepted for periods of up to three years.

Permission for an ongoing NOP-Asbestos for intermittent repair or maintenance work will normally only be granted for the following:

  • Moderate-risk work activity, as defined in Regulation Part 6
  • Routine work of short duration, not more than one day or one shift at a time
  • Work involving a minimal disturbance of asbestos-containing materials (e.g., replacing several loose asbestos floor tiles; drilling a few holes through asbestos-containing drywall mud or floor tile to mount brackets, frames, or to install floor sills; replacing several asbestos-containing ceiling tiles; removing or making minor modifications to asbestos cement products; boiler inspection/cleaning; repair of a small section - less than one standard 4 ft x 8 ft sheet - of gypsum board that contains asbestos filler compound)
  • Work that doesn't include abatement or demolition of asbestos-containing materials that would normally be performed by an asbestos abatement or restoration contractor

A request for ongoing NOP-Asbestos needs to include the following information:

  • The information required in an NOP as specified in Regulation section 20.2.1(4)
  • Confirmation that the employer's exposure control plan for asbestos complies with section 5.54 of the Regulation
  • Evidence of an up-to-date asbestos inventory for the site(s)
  • The site-specific safe work procedures to be used, including maximum quantities
  • Confirmation that the procedures will be performed by adequately trained, instructed, and supervised employees of the applicant employer

Application/decision process
For an ongoing NOP-Asbestos, the applicant should submit the request to the applicable manager, Prevention Field Services (the Manager) or to Prevention Support Services (PrevNOP@worksafebc.com or fax 604.276.3247). To apply for the ongoing NOP-Asbestos, the online NOP form should not be completed.

The Manager will issue a decision in a letter in consultation with a local occupational hygiene officer who may do a site visit and speak with a number of persons as part of the consideration process.

The letter may contain special requirements such as the following:

  • A log record must be kept of each job performed. The record should include the project location, date, duration, hours of work, number of workers, nature/description of the work (including the amount of material that may be removed or dislodged), and confirmation of the risk level (e.g., moderate risk)
  • The log record must be readily available to WorkSafeBC

The Manager will ensure an electronic copy of the decision letter is retained. The employer must ensure the decision letter and NOP-Asbestos are available at the worksite during the work activity.

If any of the procedures, terms, or conditions of the NOP-Asbestos and the decision letter are not met or followed, the permission may be cancelled and compliance activity undertaken.

G20.2.1(2)(c) Notice of project – Significant disturbance of lead-containing material New Item

Issued consequential to May 1, 2017 Regulatory Amendment

Regulatory excerpt
Sections 20.2.1(1) and (2) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") state:

(1) Subject to subsections (3) and (6), if a construction project involves a work activity set out in subsection (2), all employers responsible for the work activity and either the owner or the person engaged by the owner to be the prime contractor on the construction project must ensure that the Board receives, in writing, a notice of project that contains the information required by subsection (4) at least 48 hours before the work activity begins at the worksite.

(2) The following are work activities for the purposes of subsection (1):

(a) a work activity that involves working with or in proximity to asbestos-containing material, as defined in section 6.1, that is a moderate risk work activity or a high risk work activity as defined in that section;

(b) the alteration, repair, dismantling or demolition of all or part of a building or structure in which asbestos-containing material has been processed, manufactured or stored;

(c) a work activity that significantly disturbs lead-containing material in buildings or structures;

(d) a work activity that is similar to those described in paragraphs (a) to (c) and that may expose workers to a significant risk of occupational disease from a biological or chemical agent or ionizing radiation.

Purpose of guideline
The Regulation specifies a requirement to submit a notice of project (NOP) for certain construction activities if it is anticipated that a work activity will significantly disturb lead-containing material in buildings or structures.

This guideline provides further explanation of the work activities that significantly disturbs lead-containing materials in buildings or structures. Also, this guideline provides examples of work activities that normally would not require an NOP form to be submitted.

Significant disturbance of lead-containing materials
An NOP must be submitted for a work activity that significantly disturbs lead-containing materials in buildings or structures associated with a construction project. This lead work activity may expose workers to a significant risk of occupational disease where it generates lead dust, fumes, or mist in the air or on surfaces.

Workers are at significant risk of occupational disease if the following occurs:

  • They breathe airborne lead dust, mist, or fumes at or above the action limit (half of the occupational exposure limit for lead)
  • There is likelihood of significant contamination of workers' hands and face with lead that there is a high risk the lead could be ingested
  • They breathe or ingest enough lead to increase their blood lead body burden above background levels (0.1 micromoles per litre (µmol/L), or 2 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL)

Section 6.59.1 of the Regulation states that an employer must ensure that a risk assessment is completed by a qualified person for the planned lead activity. As part of the risk assessment, the scope, circumstances, and the nature of the work activity, as well as the potential routes of exposure are considered.

The following are some activities that are not expected to cause harm to a worker and would not normally require an NOP to be submitted:

  • Conducting a site inspection to identify hazardous materials
  • Collecting samples and preparing a written report under section 20.112, hazardous materials
  • Determining the types of tasks required for the construction project
  • Estimating the cost of labour and materials for the project
  • Low risk and some low-moderate and moderate risk work activities that should not increase a worker's lead body burden
    • Examples include the following:
    • Light sanding or scraping a small area of lead-containing paint
    • Applying lead-containing paint with a brush roller
    • Installing or removing sheet metal containing lead
    • Installing or removing bolts or screws covered with lead-containing paint
    • Operating an excavator (within the cab) during building demolition
    • Transporting sealed containers of lead waste
    • Cleaning up small areas of lead-containing dust or debris

More information can be found in the WorkSafeBC Publication Safe Work Practices for Handling Lead. Further explanation regarding low, low-moderate and moderate risk activities can be found in the WorkSafeBC Publication Safe Work Practices for Handling Lead.

G20.2.1(2)(d) Notice of project – Other similar exposure work activities

Issued August 4, 2015; Formerly issued as part of G20.2(1)(c)(iv) – Re-issued as Editorial Revision consequential to May 1, 2017 Regulatory Amendment

Regulatory excerpt
Sections 20.2.1(1), (2) and (4) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") state:

(1) Subject to subsections (3) and (6), if a construction project involves a work activity set out in subsection (2), all employers responsible for the work activity and either the owner or the person engaged by the owner to be the prime contractor on the construction project must ensure that the Board receives, in writing, a notice of project that contains the information required by subsection (4) at least 48 hours before the work activity begins at the worksite.

(2) The following are work activities for the purposes of subsection (1):

(a) a work activity that involves working with or in proximity to asbestos-containing material, as defined in section 6.1, that is a moderate risk work activity or a high risk work activity as defined in that section;

(b) the alteration, repair, dismantling or demolition of all or part of a building or structure in which asbestos-containing material has been processed, manufactured or stored;

(c) a work activity that significantly disturbs lead-containing material in buildings or structures;

(d) a work activity that is similar to those described in paragraphs (a) to (c) and that may expose workers to a significant risk of occupational disease from a biological or chemical agent or ionizing radiation.

(4) The notice of project must contain the following information:

(a) the name and contact information of all employers responsible for the work activity, of the owner and of the person engaged to be the prime contractor, if any;

(b) the address of the construction project or its location in relation to the nearest highway;

(c) the scope of the construction project and of the work activity;

(d) the starting date and the estimated duration of the construction project and of the work activity;

(e) the safe work procedures specific to the work activity, and the hazardous substance involved in the work activity, that will be used to minimize the risk of occupational disease to the workers;

(f) if section 20.112 applies, a written report made under section 20.112(3)(e) and, if applicable, section 20.112(6)(e).

Purpose of guideline
The Regulation specifies a requirement to submit a notice of project (NOP) for certain construction activities related to asbestos and lead. The Regulation also specifies that an NOP must be submitted for similar construction work activities which may expose workers to a significant risk of occupational disease from a biological or chemical agent or ionizing radiation.

This guideline provides examples of other similar exposure work activities which may expose workers to a significant risk of occupational disease and for which an NOP needs to be submitted.

Construction activities and occupational disease
Section 20.2.1(2)(d) of the Regulation requires that an NOP be submitted when there are work activities associated with a construction project which may expose workers to a significant risk of occupational disease from a biological or chemical agent or ionizing radiation. Determination of which construction work activities may expose workers to a significant risk of occupational disease includes consideration of the following criteria:

  • Workers may be exposed to hazardous substances during a work activity associated with a construction project (including demolition or renovation)
  • Abatement or remediation activity is required before demolition or reconstruction can occur
  • The activity may involve exposure to unknown, undetermined, or unexpected hazardous substances. For example, there may be unknown hazardous substances used in grow operations and methamphetamine labs, and workers may be exposed to them when demolition or reconstruction takes place
  • Emerging knowledge about hazardous substances used during construction activities, e.g., as discovered by WorkSafeBC prevention officers or as published in the literature

The construction activities listed below may expose workers to a significant risk of occupational disease. For these activities, an NOP must be submitted at least 48 hours before starting the project and a copy of the NOP must be posted at the construction site before work commences.

Notices of project for these activities can be submitted online from the WorkSafeBC NOP webpage (preferred method). A paper version of the Notice of Project (NOP) for Construction Projects involving asbestos, lead, or other similar exposure work activity (Form # 52E49) can also be used. Guidance for submitting the NOP can be found in OHS Guideline G20.2(1) Notice of Project. Refer to the Regulatory excerpt section of this guideline for a list of the information that must be included in a submitted NOP, including safe work procedures specific to the work activity and, if applicable, the written report made under section 20.112(3)(e) or 20.112(6)(e).

Other similar exposure construction work activities that require a notice of project to be submitted under this Regulation section
In addition to the requirements in section 20.2.1(2)(a), (b), and (c) of the Regulation for an NOP to be submitted for asbestos and lead-related construction activities, section 20.2.1(2)(d) of the Regulation requires that an NOP be submitted for at least the following construction activities:

1. Remediation of indoor marijuana-growing operations
Marijuana-growing operations use potentially hazardous chemicals, including fertilizers and pesticides. Significant mould growth can also be associated with these operations. Remediation of these operations will usually involve demolition and/or reconstruction and is considered to be construction activity.

When these facilities are investigated and eventually cleaned up, workers may be exposed to harmful levels of these substances.

An NOP must be submitted for any work involving the abatement, cleanup, or demolition of indoor marijuana-growing operations.

2. Remediation of clandestine chemical labs
During the production of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamines, a number of hazardous substances may be used, including phosphorous, iodine, ammonia, hydrochloric acid, lead, mercury, and other chemicals. These are in addition to the drugs themselves. When these facilities are investigated and eventually cleaned up, workers may be exposed to harmful levels of these chemicals.

An NOP must be submitted for work involving the abatement, cleanup, or demolition of clandestine chemical labs.

3. Mould remediation
Mould contamination may be obvious on walls, furnishings, and equipment or may be hidden behind walls, in conduits and chases, etc.

A worker's exposure to moulds is primarily through inhalation of airborne spores that cannot be seen without magnification. These spores can be released in very high concentrations if mouldy building material is disturbed, such as during remediation or demolition activities.

All moulds have the potential to cause health effects. Moulds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases toxins that may cause reactions in humans. For a worker who has a compromised or sensitized immune system, health effects can be severe. For those individuals, exposure to pathogenic moulds or their toxic by-products may be associated with a variety of adverse health effects, including allergic reactions, asthma, pneumonitis with flu-like symptoms, infections of the upper airways, sinusitis, or other lung diseases.

An NOP must be submitted for work involving the remediation, cleanup, or demolition of mould-contaminated areas where the total surface area affected is greater than 10 contiguous square metres (100 contiguous square feet). Refer also to OHS Guideline G4.79 Moulds and Indoor air quality. Also, Health Canada advises that professional assistance should be sought for remediation of these large mould problems.

4. Ionizing radiation
Ionizing radiation is a hazardous form of energy emitted by radioactive substances or generated by x-ray equipment. Ionizing radiation can be in the form of particles (e.g., neutrons, beta, alpha) or electromagnetic waves (e.g., gamma, X-rays).

Depending on the dose of radiation received, exposure to ionizing radiation can cause adverse health effects, such as radiation burns, acute radiation syndrome, and cancer to various tissues and organs.

Some construction-related work activities may expose workers to elevated levels of ionizing radiation that can lead to significant risk of occupational disease.

An NOP must be submitted for construction project work activities where workers may be exposed to ionizing radiation above the action level - effective dose of 1 milliSievert (mSv) per year, as defined in the Regulation section 7.17.

Some examples of construction work activities where workers' effective dose may exceed the action level of 1 mSv per year are as follows:

  • Some types of non-destructive tests (e.g., industrial radiography using radioactive sources such as cobalt-60, iridium-192)
  • Demolition or significant disturbance of building materials or structures that contain radioactive substances (e.g., uranium-containing glazed tiles emitting ionizing radiation, construction sites that require the removal or remediation of radioactive wastes from buildings or structures)
  • Removal of significant quantities of industrial/commercial devices and equipment containing radioactive sources (e.g., some commercial smoke detectors containing Am-241)

An employer is required to determine if a worker's exposure to ionizing radiation from the planned work activity will be over the action level of 1 mSv per year. Further information is available in the OHS Guideline G7.20(1)-1 Exposure control plan – General requirements to assist employers in determining whether a worker's annual exposure exceeds or may exceed 1 mSv.

To be consistent with section 7.18 of the Regulation, the NOP requirement does not apply to natural background radiation.

G20.3-1 Labour supply firms and construction employers – Responsibilities

Issued February 4, 2010; Revised April 13, 2011

This guideline, dealing with the responsibilities of labour supply firms and their client construction firms toward temporary labour workers, has been expanded to apply generally to all industries. The new guideline is available here: G-D3-115(1)-2 Labour supply firms and client employers – Responsibilities.

G20.3-2 Qualified coordinators

Issued April 27, 2010

Regulatory excerpt
Responsibilities for worker health and safety are established by the Workers Compensation Act ("Act") and the OHS Regulation ("Regulation"). Section 20.3 of the Regulation states:

20.3 Coordination of multiple employer workplaces

(2) If a work location has overlapping or adjoining work activities of 2 or more employers that create a hazard to workers, and the combined workforce at the workplace is more than 5,

(a) the owner, or if the owner engages another person to be the prime contractor, then that person must

(i) appoint a qualified coordinator for the purpose of ensuring the coordination of health and safety activities for the location, and

(ii) provide up-to-date information as specified in subsection (4), readily available on site, and

(b) each employer must give the coordinator appointed under paragraph (a)(i) the name of a qualified person designated to be responsible for that employer's site health and safety activities.

(3) The duties of the qualified coordinator appointed under paragraph (2)(a)(i) include

(a) informing employers and workers of the hazards created, and

(b) ensuring that the hazards are addressed throughout the duration of the work activities.

(4) The information required by subsection (2)(a)(ii) includes

(a) the name of the qualified coordinator appointed under subsection (2)(a)(i),

(b) a site drawing, which must be posted, showing project layout, first aid location, emergency transportation provisions, and the evacuation marshalling station, and

(c) a set of construction procedures designed to protect the health and safety of workers at the workplace, developed in accordance with the requirements of this Regulation.

1.1 Definitions

"qualified" means being knowledgeable of the work, the hazards involved and the means to control the hazards, by reason of education, training, experience or a combination thereof;

Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to provide information regarding the qualifications of the qualified coordinator under subsection 20.3(2)(a)(i) of the Regulation.

Qualified Coordinator
Subsection 20.3(2)(a)(i) requires the owner or prime contractor of multiple employer construction workplaces that have more than five workers to appoint a qualified coordinator. At multiple employer construction workplaces, the role of the qualified coordinator is crucial to maintaining an environment that ensures worker health and safety. The qualified coordinator must ensure that there is communication to employers and workers of hazards present at the workplace, and that those hazards are continuously addressed as they arise.

"Qualified"
The coordinator must be "qualified". "Qualified" is a term defined in the Regulation as "being knowledgeable of the work, the hazards involved and the means to control the hazards, by reason of education, training, experience or a combination thereof". What specific qualifications are required will depend on the nature of the work and the nature of the hazards created by that work. The qualified coordinator needs to possess experience in and an understanding of the work, including specific work processes and equipment used. Given that in order to fulfill the duties in subsection 20.3(3), the qualified coordinator is required to work with employers and workers at the workplace, the qualified coordinator should also have the ability to provide direction to others and to be able to effectively communicate with the employers and workers present at the workplace.

Ideally the qualified coordinator will possess some formal training or a trade certification that would suggest the person is capable of identifying and addressing hazards. However, a trade certification is not a specific requirement, provided that the qualified coordinator is knowledgeable of and experienced in the work being undertaken at the workplace.

Guidelines Part 20 - Safe work areas and safe access

G20.4(1) Suitable ladders, work platforms, and scaffolds

Issued August 13, 2008

Regulatory excerpt
Section 4.61 of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

Elevated walkways must be at least 50 cm (20 in) wide, and safe access to walkways must be provided by means of stairs, ramps or fixed ladders.

Section 13.1 of the Regulation states, in part:

"scaffold" means any temporary elevated work platform and its supporting structure used for supporting workers, materials or equipment;

"work platform" means an elevated or suspended temporary work surface used for supporting workers and includes a scaffold and boatswain's chair.

Section 13.6(1) of the Regulation states:

If work cannot be done from a ladder without hazard to a worker, a work platform must be provided.

Section 13.14(1) of the Regulation states:

The platform of each scaffold must

(a) be a minimum nominal width of 50 cm (20 in), except that a nominal 30 cm (12 in) wide work platform may be used with ladder jacks, pump jack or similar systems,

(b) not leave more than one opening in the work platform, which must be no greater than 25 cm (10 in) in width, and

(c) if not level, be designed to ensure adequate footing for workers using the platform.

Section 20.4(1) of the Regulation states:

Where practicable, suitable ladders, work platforms and scaffolds meeting the requirements of Part 13 (Ladders, Scaffold and Temporary Work Platforms) must be provided for and used by a worker for activities requiring positioning at elevations above a floor or grade.

Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to discuss suitable ladders, work platforms, and scaffoldings, and to specify that the top plate of interior or exterior walls, the top plate, or top walers used in concrete formwork, or other elevated surfaces narrower than a nominal width of 50 cm (20 in) are not considered suitable work platforms. Similarly, the guideline specifies that such surfaces are not acceptable elevated walkways. The guideline also discusses when a ladder is considered suitable.

Application
Section 20.4(1) of the Regulation requires, where practicable, suitable ladders, work platforms, and scaffolds must be provided to and used by workers when their work activities require positioning at elevations above a floor or grade. This includes heights above and below 3 m (10 ft). Work surfaces at elevations above 3 m, or where a fall from a height of less than 3 m involves a risk of injury greater than the risk of injury from the impact on a flat surface, must also comply with the requirements of section 11.2 of the Regulation to use appropriate fall protection.

Suitable ladders, work platforms, and scaffolding
Whether or not a ladder, work platform, or scaffolding will be considered 'suitable' will depend on the intended use. For example, a ladder may be considered suitable when the intention is to only use it for short term, light duty work. However, if the nature of the use will require the maneuvering of heavy objects, such as guiding concrete pump hoses, a ladder would not be considered suitable, and a work platform or scaffolding should be selected. In selecting suitable scaffolding or work platforms, employers have a number of options. Specifically, scaffoldings using manufactured scaffolding brackets, when installed and used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, are considered suitable. Single-pole wood scaffolds may also be suitable when properly installed and used. For more information on suitable ladders, work platforms, and scaffolding, see the following WorkSafeBC publications: Safe Work Practices for House Construction or Construction Safety Series.

Top plate, top waler, or other surface less than 50 cm (20 in) wide is not a suitable work platform or scaffold
Section 20.4(1) of the Regulation requires, where practicable, suitable ladders, work platforms, and scaffolds must be provided to and used by workers when their work activities require positioning at elevations above a floor or grade. If a top plate or other elevated surface is to be used as a temporary work surface, such surfaces must satisfy the requirements for scaffolding and work platforms under Part 13 of the Regulation. Under section 13.14(1)(a), the work platform of a scaffolding must be a minimum nominal width of 50 cm (20 in). The top plate of interior or exterior walls, the top plate or top waler of concrete formwork, the tops of floor or roof joists, the bottom cord of ceiling trusses, or other elevated surfaces narrower than a nominal width of 50 cm (20 in) do not meet this condition. Accordingly, failing to provide or use suitable alternatives to such surfaces where practicable is a violation of section 20.4 of the Regulation.

Elevated walkways
An elevated walkway includes any surface above a floor or grade used by workers or other persons at the workplace to move between two or more areas. Under section 4.61 of the Regulation, an elevated walkway must be at least 50 cm (20 in) wide. This includes top plates used to move from one section of a wall to another, or top walers or tops of concrete formwork used to move from one section of the formwork to another. For a worker to use any such surfaces as an elevated walkway, the surface must be at least 50 cm (20 in) wide. Providing and/or using the top plate of interior or exterior walls, the top plate or top waler of concrete formwork, the tops of floor or roof joists, the bottom cord of ceiling trusses, or other surface narrower than 50 cm (20 in) as an elevated walkway is a violation of section 4.61 of the Regulation.

Use of ladders only when there is no hazard to the worker
Under section 20.4 of the Regulation, a worker who requires positioning at an elevation above a floor or grade may be provided with and use a ladder when the ladder is considered 'suitable' and the requirements of Part 13 of the Regulation are met. Under section 13.6(1), if work cannot be done from a ladder without hazard to the worker, a work platform must be provided. To avoid exposing a worker to a hazard, work from a ladder should be limited to light duty work where the ladder will be at any one spot for sporadic, short-term work. This may include marking out where floor joists or trusses will be, or other activities where the worker can reasonably maintain three points of contact with the ladder. Work such as aligning floor joists or trusses, guiding concrete pump hoses, or other activities that require the worker to maneuver heavy objects, is not acceptable. These activities are considered to expose the worker to a hazard if conducted from a ladder. A failure to provide or use a work platform where work from a ladder exposes the worker to a hazard is a violation of section 13.6(1) of the Regulation.

G20.4(2) Suitable access for safe delivery of equipment and materials

Issued January 1, 2007

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.4(2) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

There must be suitable access for the safe delivery of equipment and materials to locations in the workplace where they will be used.

Purpose of guideline
This guideline provides examples of "equipment and materials" under section 20.4(2) of the Regulation, discusses coordination among workplace parties, and provides examples of safe delivery, interior access, and material handling practices.

"Equipment and materials" under section 20.4(2)
Examples of equipment and materials delivered to building construction sites include but are not limited to drywall, appliances, cabinets, concrete, powered concrete finishing equipment, and trusses. Examples of equipment and materials delivered to road and municipal services construction sites include but are not limited to pipes, hydrants, valves, manhole sections, and portable powered compactors.

Coordination
Prime contractors, owners, employers, supervisors, sub-contractors, and delivery companies all have responsibilities, and must work together to plan and ensure that suitable access is maintained for safe delivery to locations where equipment and materials will be used. See general duty sections under Part 3 of the Workers Compensation Act.

Recommended planning activities include the following:

  • Developing company and site policy and safe work practices for delivering materials and equipment
  • Pre-planning the project to provide sufficient clear access points to the site to allow for the safe delivery of equipment and materials
  • Coordinating delivery times with delivery companies

Safe delivery practices
The following practices, where applicable, can help ensure that materials and equipment are delivered safely:

  • Clear ground access for telescoping boom forklifts or boom trucks, ensuring the area is
    • free of overhead hazards, such as power lines
    • graded and stabilized to provide a solid compacted soil surface or properly shored concrete slab.
  • Maintain access routes to allow equipment to safely maneuver.
  • Allow for several locations where materials can be delivered to a floor area.
  • Make available access openings large enough to safely accommodate passing materials from the boom truck/forklift into the structure.
  • Minimize manual handling by using boom trucks, lift trucks, or similar material handling equipment to deliver materials and equipment as close as possible to the location where they will be used. Provide sufficient clear access for the material handling equipment.
  • Eliminate, where practicable, situations where workers manually handle large or heavy items on stairs.
    Note: Section 4.50 of the Regulation specifies the controls that are required to eliminate, if practicable, or minimize the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Provide guardrail protection and/or anchor points on the structure at wall openings and balconies to enable workers to use appropriate fall protection when transferring materials from the boom truck/forklift into the structure (see also the requirements for fall protection under Part 11 of the Regulation and guardrails under sections 4.58 and 4.58.1).
  • Install one or more windows temporarily on the inside of the wall to allow easy removal of the window. If windows are not large enough or accessible for the delivery of materials create a temporary access hatch at suitable locations in walls.

Safe interior access practices
Examples of safe interior access practices include the following:

  • Distribute materials so that the floor in any area is not loaded beyond the permissible floor loadings
  • Where appropriate, ensure there is sufficient access through framed walls inside the building; for example, ensure that plumbing and electrical wiring runs do not impede workers from carrying materials, such as wallboard, between wall studs to adjacent rooms
  • Use guardrails to accommodate the safe movement of materials on stairways (see also the requirements for guards and guardrails under sections 4.58 and 4.58.1)
  • Install stairs leading down to the basement before the delivery of materials to the basement, or if there is no access to the basement, designate areas on the floor where materials can be lowered
  • Clear hallways and stairs of debris and equipment that may cause slipping and tripping hazards

Appropriate material handling equipment
Ensure material handling equipment, such as boom trucks, rough terrain cranes, forklifts, and telescoping boom lifts, are suitable for use on the site terrain and have sufficient reach and capacity to handle the equipment and materials to the location where workers can safely handle materials and equipment manually.

Note: Section 4.3 of the Regulation provides that the employer must ensure that each piece of equipment in the workplace is capable of safely performing the functions for which it is used, and is selected, used, and operated in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, safe work practices, and the requirements of the Regulation.

G20.5(5) Responsibilities for employers to provide stairways to work levels during construction

Issued March 7, 2011

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.5(5) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

A stairway comprised of at least framing, treads and a handrail must be provided to each floor level before construction of the next floor or deck surface is undertaken, and the treads on the stairway must not create a tripping or slipping hazard.

Purpose of guideline
Section 20.5(5) of the Regulation requires that a stairway must be provided to each floor level "before construction of the next floor or deck surface is undertaken." The purpose of this guideline is to specify when stairways must be installed during construction.

Next floor or deck surface
The purpose of the erection of a stairway during the building process is to provide a safe, easy method of access from one floor to the next during the construction process. A stairway must be in place as soon as practicable once the basic structure of the next level is in place, and before construction of the floor or deck surface on that next level begins. If work begins on the next floor or deck surface and no stairway to that level is in place, it will constitute a violation of section 20.5(5) of the Regulation.

For example, the construction of the first level of a new residential building has been completed. The joist and beam structure for the second level may be completed. As soon as possible and before beginning work on the floor or deck surface on the second level, a stairway must be erected from the first level to the second. The stairway may be temporary (consisting of at least framing, safe treads, and a handrail) or permanent. Stairs open on both sides (not against a wall or other structure) must have handrails compliant with section 4.62 of the Regulation on both sides.

G20.9 Protection from falling materials

Issued August 1999; Editorial Revision June 14, 2013

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.9(3) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

Protective canopies must be designed and constructed to safely support all loads that may reasonably be expected to be applied to them, but in no case less than 2.4 kPa (50 psf).

Purpose of guideline
This guideline explains where more information may be found on the design of protective canopies and explains application of the regulatory requirement.

Protective canopies
Protective canopies are usually of wood frame design. Part 9 of the BC Building Code includes design tables for roof rafters and roof joists that are rated for 2.5 kPa. Minimum thickness for subflooring and roof sheathing are also specified. A qualified framer should be familiar with the Part 9 requirements and be able to interpret the tables correctly. Appendix A in the BC Building Code allows for the tabulated values to be extrapolated. For example, in applications where a design loading of 5.0 kPa is more appropriate than 2.5 kPa, the spacing between rafters can be halved to achieve the rating.

A free-spanning canopy may not be required to achieve adequate protection. For example, since the roof of a typical mobile office trailer has probably not been designed for 2.4 kPa, additional protection could be achieved by laying sheets of plywood on the roof. Whether plywood alone is sufficient depends on the evaluated hazard. The impact of an object falling onto the plywood represents a dynamic load, and varies in magnitude with the falling object's mass and the fall distance. Other factors in this example include the stiffness of the falling object and of the plywood.

A heavy hard object falling from a great height onto a rigid surface will impose a high impact load. The minimum design value of 2.4 kPa may be inadequate if this is the potential exposure. Effective implementation will require the application of good judgment to properly identify the hazards.

G20.13(3.1) Ensuring loads do not exceed capacity of thrust-out platforms

Issued June 14, 2004; Revised May 17, 2006

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.13 of the OHS Regulation states:

(1) A professional engineer must certify each thrust-out crane landing platform and certify that the building structure can adequately support loads to be imposed by use of the platform.

(2) Thrust-out crane landing platform drawings and certification must be available on site when the platform is in place.

(3) The rated capacity of a thrust-out crane landing platform must be clearly marked on the platform and not be exceeded.

(3.1) Control measures acceptable to the Board must be implemented to ensure all loads placed on a thrust-out crane landing platform

(a) are safely supported, and

(b) can be safely attached to and detached from the rigging.

(4) Thrust-out platform decking and supporting members must be designed to safely support any concentrated loads that may be landed.

(5) Repealed (BC Reg. 420/2004).

Purpose of guideline
This guideline describes the measures WorkSafeBC considers acceptable under section 20.13(3.1), to ensure all loads placed on a thrust-out crane landing platform are safely supported and can be safely attached to and detached from the rigging. If a person wishes to use a control system not described in this guideline, an application would need to be made to WorkSafeBC, and the acceptability of that system affirmed in writing by WorkSafeBC before such a system is implemented.

To ensure safe operations on the platform, consideration must be given to more than individual loads placed on the platform by the crane. Other considerations include loads manually placed on the platform, multiple loads, load distribution and stability, as well as safe access for workers connecting and detaching the rigging from the load. The control measures outlined in this guideline involve work procedures or work procedures combined with engineering controls.

A system of nine control measures acceptable to WorkSafeBC is outlined below. The effective implementation of the system requires the fulfillment of the responsibilities by the prime contractor and the employer. The guideline provides three options for determining the weights of loads, and discusses two types of engineering controls that may be used as part of the system to ensure that platforms are not overloaded.

Responsibilities of the prime contractor and employers
The prime contractor, consistent with their responsibilities under section 118 of the Workers Compensation Act ("Act"), is responsible for ensuring that a control system, including appropriate supervision, is in place to prevent thrust-out platforms from being overloaded. That responsibility involves doing everything that is reasonably practicable to establish and maintain the system to ensure worker safety, and to ensure that the activities of employers, workers and other persons at the workplace are coordinated. It is reasonably practicable for the prime contractor to ensure that a control system for thrust-out platforms as described in this guideline is established and maintained.

The employer who arranges for the thrust-out platform to be brought on-site and used must also ensure the safe use of the platform, consistent with their responsibilities under section 115(1) of the Act to protect their workers and any other workers present at the workplace where that employer's work is being carried out. This is typically the formwork contractor.

If another employer wishes to use the thrust-out platform, or if the formwork contractor leaves the site, the ongoing responsibilities of the prime contractor are the key to worker safety, both to ensure the activities of new employers are properly coordinated and that the necessary steps are taken to ensure the safe use of the platform.

Control system
The system for controlling the risks when using thrust-out crane landing platforms includes assigning responsibilities to affected workers, ensuring the rated capacities of platforms are marked and known, ensuring the weights of all loads to be placed on the platform are known, ensuring the platform size is compatible with the loads to be placed on the platform, and a system of supervision is in place. The control system will include the following:

  1. Responsibilities of crane operator: The crane operator has responsibilities that include ensuring that the weight of any load to be landed on the thrust-out platform does not exceed the platform capacity.
  2. Responsibilities of riggers: Riggers are responsible for determining weights of loads to be lifted and communicating the weights to the crane operator, as provided under options A, B or C below. Riggers are to be designated by a responsible authority on-site, and should be qualified to perform their duties by reason of training, education, experience or a combination. Riggers are responsible for ensuring only loads that can be safely attached or detached from the rigging are placed on the platform.
  3. Ensuring rated capacities of platforms are known: Each thrust-out landing platform must be clearly marked with its rated capacity in accordance with section 20.13(3) of the OHS Regulation. The rated capacities of the thrust-out landing platforms are to be made known to the crane operator, to the rigger, and to any other affected person, such as the worker who is monitoring the accumulated loads on thrust-out platforms. An effective means should be in place to ensure these persons can access the information on the rated capacity without delay.
  4. Ensuring an effective means for determining the weights of loads to be lifted by a crane: There are three acceptable options in this guideline for determining the weights of loads: A) an administrative option in which a list of expected weights of loads is used, B) a load cell on the crane, and C) use of a load weighing device on-site. These options are explained in more detail at the end of this list of control measures.
  5. Ensuring an effective means for determining the weights of loads to be placed manually on the platform: The weights of materials or equipment manually placed on the platform will be determined before they are placed. The weights may be determined by calculation, by reference to appropriate documents, or by weighing the load.
  6. Monitoring the total load placed on the platform: A person will be responsible to ensure cumulative loads placed on the platform do not exceed the rated capacity and that the loads are evenly distributed.
  7. Ensuring there is adequate space on the platform: The platform area must be sufficient to allow all loads to be placed such that they will be stable. Generally this will require the loads to fit within the periphery of the platform. Riggers must have sufficient room to access rigging points on the load.
  8. Ensuring an effective system of supervision in place: Supervision is to be provided to ensure the required work procedures are followed.
  9. Ensuring the procedures are made known to all affected workers: This can be done by posting the written procedures on a bulletin board and advising affected workers of them, or by other effective means. Posted procedures need to be kept in legible condition.

Options for determining the weights of loads under element #4 of the control system

A. Administrative option: For this option to be acceptable to WorkSafeBC all the following measures will be in place:

  • A list of the weights of items to be placed on the platform will be available.
  • The list will include all the equipment, materials, and other items expected to be placed and will provide the weights for each.
  • If a garbage box is to be used, the all-up weight of the garbage box will be included in the list. The all-up weight for a garbage box is its dead weight (that is, weight when empty) combined with its rated capacity. For example, if the dead weight of a garbage box is 600 lbs. and the garbage box is rated for 4,000 lbs, the list must show the all-up weight for the box, which is 4,600 lbs;
  • The list is to be provided to the crane operator, to the rigger, and to any other necessary person, and posted at each platform.
  • The rigger is responsible for ensuring the bundled loads are in accordance with the supplied list (number of pieces, size, length, etc.). In the case of loads manually placed on the platform, the person placing the load on the platform is responsible for ensuring bundled loads are in accordance with the supplied list.
  • If an item to be lifted is not on the list, the weight must be determined before it is placed on the platform. In the case of lifted loads, the rigger is responsible to determine the weight of the item and to communicate the weight to the crane operator. If there are repeat lifts of such an item, the list will be updated to include it. If the rigger does not know the weight of a load or cannot with substantial certainty estimate it, then the load is not to be lifted.

B. Load cell on the crane: Under this option, the employer responsible for the crane is to ensure there is an electronic load cell that registers the weight of each load being lifted and displays it to the operator at the controls. Administratively, this is the least complex system, as the crane operator will know the weights directly. There is no need for the rigger to advise the operator of weight information, except when an operator requests an advance estimate before the lift.

C. Load weighing device on-site: This option involves the use of a weighing device separate from the crane. The device is to be used whenever the rigger and crane operator do not have advance information on the weight of a load to be lifted. If the weight displayed by the device cannot be directly observed by the crane operator, it is the responsibility of the rigger to ensure that the weight is communicated to the crane operator.

Engineering controls for limiting the load placed on a platform by a crane
Either of the following two engineering controls may be used to help ensure that a single load placed by a crane does not exceed the rated capacity of a thrust-out platform:

  • Use of a crane for which the rated capacity at the radius for placing loads on the thrust-out platform does not exceed the rated capacity of the platform.
  • Adjustment of overload limit switches to effectively reduce the lifting capability of the crane so that it does not exceed the rated capacity of the thrust-out platform.

If such controls are used, the overall control system must still ensure that the platform is not overloaded in circumstances such as multiple loads placed by a crane on the platform, and manual placement of loads on it. In addition, the platform must have adequate space for loads.

G20.14 Temporary cribbing support in house lifting operations

Issued December 16, 2016

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.14 of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

20.14 Temporary support
During the erection or dismantling of a structure or equipment the employer must ensure that all partially assembled structures or components are supported as necessary to safely withstand any loads likely to be imposed on them.

Section 4.34 of the Regulation states:

4.34 Restricted entry
Hazardous areas not intended to be accessible to workers must be secured by locked doors or equivalent means of security, and must not be entered unless safe work procedures are developed and followed.

Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to provide information and best practices about providing temporary supports to structures during house lifting operations.

House lift design and planning
Lifting a house is a complex task that requires proper planning and a high level of expertise. Section 20.14 of the Regulation provides that the employer must ensure that all partially assembled structures or components are supported as necessary to safely withstand any loads likely to be imposed on them. In order to ensure that the temporary cribbing support system is capable of withstanding the loads, pre-planning for a house lifting operation should generally include a design drawing prepared by a professional engineer registered in B.C. The design drawing may be site-specific or standardized.

House lift drawing requirements
In order to demonstrate that the temporary cribbing supports can withstand any loads likely to be imposed on them, a house lift drawing (whether site-specific or standardized) should typically include the following information:

  1. The intended purpose, authorized users, and application for the drawing.
  2. The requirements and restrictions for those using the drawing (such as specific material or site conditions, design wind loading, specific aspects requiring higher level oversight or connection requirements).
  3. Assumptions made, referenced codes and, where applicable, the factors of safety used in producing the drawing.
  4. Limitations on the application of the drawing.
  5. The maximum length of time that the house can be safely supported by temporary cribbing supports before the professional engineer responsible for the house lift drawing must be contacted.
  6. Requirements, procedures, and frequency of inspection for the temporary cribbing supports while the house is supported.
  7. Critical conditions and scenarios where the design engineer must be contacted immediately.
  8. The material grades and specifications of all support beams, cribbing, and temporary bracings.
  9. The type of bearing (soil, concrete, etc.), allowable bearing pressure, and site preparations required to adequately support the temporary cribbing supports and lifting/lowering operations.
  10. Shimming requirements.
  11. The name, signature and seal of the professional engineer responsible for the drawing.
  12. The perimeter of the base of the house after it is raised to the temporary support level.
  13. The location and direction of the existing horizontal framing elements, joists and beams that are to be supported at the temporary support level.
  14. The location of the existing bearing walls and post/beams above the temporary support level.
  15. The location, direction and size of temporary support beams.
  16. The location, size and height of temporary support cribs (including dimensions between crib centerlines and from the building perimeter to crib centerlines) and maximum loading on the support cribs.
  17. The size, orientation, and arrangement of individual timbers in the temporary support cribs.
  18. The site address.
  19. A north arrow to identify the orientation of the house.

Standardized house lift drawings
A standardized house lift drawing is designed to accommodate multiple job sites that meet certain predetermined design parameters and limitations. It allows the user to extract the engineering information required for a house lift drawing based on the specific conditions of the job site. A standardized house lift drawing will generally include member selection tables, schematic diagrams, design limitations and engineering specifications. It will also include the date the drawing was signed and the date after which the drawing is no longer valid or applicable.

When a standardized house lift drawing is used, the user should identify and document all site-specific details, such as the existing house plan and framing details, and the locations of the temporary support elements (items 12 to 19 listed above). Standardized house lift drawings are intended to be used by individuals who are knowledgeable and competent, and have adequate training and experience in house lifting.

When a standardized design drawing is used, the employer conducting the house lifting operation will normally:

  1. Obtain documented authorization from the professional engineer responsible for the standardized house lift drawing that the drawing may be used by the employer. This may include, for example: a written agreement, an email, or a notation on the drawing stating the authorized employer's name.
  2. Discuss the standardized house lift drawing with the professional engineer responsible to ensure that the limitations of the drawing are understood by the employer.
  3. Seek assistance from a professional engineer when the applicability of a standardized house lift drawing is in question or unforeseen circumstances make the drawing not applicable.

Special considerations
There are cases where, in order to ensure that all partially assembled houses or components are supported as necessary to safely withstand any loads likely to be imposed on them (section 20.14), the employer may need to engage a professional engineer to provide site-specific direction and design on support beams, cribbing, other temporary support members, lifting and lowering procedures, or other measures. Some cases where site-specific engineering direction is typically needed include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The house is not comprised of typical wood platform frame construction.
  2. The house utilizes post-and-beam or balloon frame construction.
  3. The house's wall sheathing, interior wall finishing, floor sheathing, or roof sheathing is either in poor condition or not intact.
  4. The house contains additions or unconventional structural elements which produce unorthodox framing or unusual load paths.
  5. The house is structurally unfinished or damaged.
  6. The integrity of the house and any adjoining structures could be compromised by house lifting or lowering operations.
  7. The house contains masonry chimneys, masonry cladding or other non-structural elements which require temporary support or bracing prior to house lifting operation.

Employer responsibilities
All employers involved in the house lifting operation have responsibilities to ensure worker safety at various stages of the project. Some of those responsibilities include:

Prior to the house lifting operation

  1. Ensuring all hazards associated with utility connections to the house (water, sewer, gas, electrical, etc.) have been assessed and controlled prior to the lifting operation.

During house lifting and lowering operations

  1. Ensuring site supervision responsibilities are clearly identified and assigned to a competent site supervisor, who will be on site to perform supervisory responsibilities during house lifting and lowering operations.
  2. Ensuring adequate supervision is provided during site layout, installation of support beams and cribs, and house lifting and lowering operations.
  3. Ensuring the house does not contain any unconventional structural additions, unorthodox framings, or unexpected load paths; if any such conditions exist, the employer will seek assistance from a professional engineer.
  4. Ensuring no persons occupy the house at any time during house lifting and lowering operations.
  5. Prohibiting access and securing the house in accordance with section 4.34, so it is inaccessible to workers at any time during house lifting and lowering operations.
  6. Ensuring support beams and cribs are properly selected based on the house lift drawing.
  7. Ensuring support beams and cribs are arranged to properly support the building and all floor joist spans in accordance with the house lift drawing.
  8. Ensuring proper bracing for non-structural parts of the house, when required, is provided in accordance with the house lift drawing or the professional engineer's specification.
  9. Ensuring all temporary support elements are made of properly graded materials in accordance with the house lift drawing.
  10. Ensuring all crib timbers, timber support beams, and any other temporary timber support elements are in good condition and free of splits, decay, or any type of physical damage which could reduce the strength of the timber.
  11. Ensuring all jacking timbers are of full dimension and free of splits, checks, notches, or knots directly below the jacking point.
  12. Ensuring all steel support beams are in good condition and free of any physical damage, fatigue damage, fabrication defect, deformation, or corrosion with noticeable section loss which could reduce the strength of the beam.
  13. Ensuring all support beams, jacks, jacking timbers, and cribs are maintained plumb at a maximum half-inch in 4 feet and level to a maximum half-inch in 4 feet at any time during house lifting and lowering operations.
  14. Ensuring an adequate contact area at the contact points between all crib timbers on every layer of cribbing; wedges and shims as prescribed on the house lift drawing may be installed to obtain the required contact area.
  15. Ensuring support beams are placed on temporary cribbing supports as specified on the house lift drawing.
  16. Ensuring an adequate number of load sharing blocks are provided at jacking blocks and the bearing points under support beams in accordance with the house lift drawing.
  17. Ensuring an adequate number of crib timbers are provided at the bottom layer of cribs to achieve sufficient bearing on the supporting soil in accordance with the house lift drawing.
  18. Ensuring any existing concrete slabs or pads, if present, that will be used to support cribs are adequate for this purpose.
  19. Ensuring no other work is conducted during the jacking operation.
  20. Ensuring the stability of the foundation walls is not jeopardized and adequate temporary supports to the walls are provided as needed.
  21. Conducting and documenting visual inspections to identify any shifting of supports or movement of the house during house lifting and lowering operations.

While a house is supported on temporary cribbing supports

  1. Ensuring site supervision responsibilities are clearly identified and assigned to a competent site supervisor, who will be on site to perform supervisory responsibilities while the house is supported on temporary cribbing supports.
  2. Prohibiting access and securing the house in accordance with section 4.34, so it is inaccessible to workers at any time the house is supported by any kind of temporary supports.
  3. Ensuring the house is not left on temporary cribbing supports longer than the maximum time specified on the house lift drawings. The employer will consult with the professional engineer responsible for the house lift drawing if the house must remain on temporary cribbing supports beyond the maximum duration specified on the house lift drawing.
  4. Ensuring regular visual inspections are conducted and documented to identify any shifting of supports or movement of the house (at a minimum, the frequency of inspections must meet the interval specified on the house lift drawing).
  5. Ensuring all support beams and cribs are maintained plumb at a maximum half-inch in 4 feet and level to a maximum half-inch in 4 feet at any time the house is supported by any kind of temporary supports.
  6. Ensuring all cribs and support beams remain undisturbed, are not exposed to any unintended loads, and are not used for any purpose other than supporting the house.
  7. Ensuring no water collects in or around the base of the cribs.
  8. Ensuring there is no settlement of the ground supporting the cribs.
  9. Ensuring there is no excavation below the crib base level unless authorized by a professional engineer.

Other applicable regulations
In addition to section 20.14, all other applicable sections of the Regulation and the Workers Compensation Act must be complied with during a house lifting and lowering operation involving temporary cribbing supports. This includes, but is not limited to, the following sections:

  1. Section 4.2 of the Regulation states that the employer must ensure that each building and temporary or permanent structure in a workplace is capable of withstanding any stresses likely to be imposed on it.
  2. Section 20.2(1) of the Regulation requires that, in certain circumstances, a notice of project (NOP) be filed at least 24 hours before starting a construction project. This includes when the total cost of labour and materials for the work exceeds $100,000, or when all or part of the permanent or temporary works (except pre-engineered or pre-manufactured building and structural components) are required to be designed by a professional engineer.
  3. Section 20.79 of the Regulation provides that before excavating or drilling with powered tools and equipment, the location of all underground utility services in the area must be accurately determined, and any danger to workers from those utility services must be controlled.
  4. Sections 20.111-20.121 of the Regulation apply when a structure is to be demolished in whole or in part (the term "demolition" is defined in Section 20.1).
  5. Sections 115-124 of the Act set out the general duties of employers, workers and other workplace parties.

Guidelines Part 20 - Concrete formwork and falsework

G20.26 Inspections

Issued August 1999; Editorial Revision April 9, 2008; Revised consequential to December 1, 2013 Policy Deletion; Revised consequential to February 1, 2015 Regulatory Amendment

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.26(1) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states, in part:

(1) Immediately before placement of concrete or other intended loading, the employer must ensure that the concrete formwork and falsework is inspected and an engineering certificate is issued by a professional engineer. …

Section 20.26(3) of the Regulation states:

(3) If a gang form is being reused on the same jobsite with any modification to the gang form design or method of erection, subsection (1) applies in relation to the reuse of the gang form.

Purpose of guideline
This guideline discusses the following:

  • Meaning of "other intended loading" and "immediately before"
  • Engineering certification when reusing a gang form
  • Acceptable means of conducting inspections and issuing a certificate

Meaning of "other intended loading" — section 20.26(1)
When considering this issue, there is a need to keep a broad perspective on the application of sections 20.17 to 20.26 of the Regulation. The broad perspective is that falsework is often used to support loads temporarily during construction which are completely unrelated to any concrete formwork. These sections of the Regulation refer to concrete formwork and falsework.

Formwork is defined in section 20.1 as "includes the foundation, supporting structure and mould into which concrete will be placed." Falsework is not defined in the Regulation. Falsework is defined in CSA Standard S269.1, Falsework for Construction Purposes as meaning structural supports and the necessary bracing required for the support of temporary loads during construction. Falsework is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as "a temporary structure that supports a bridge, etc. until the main structure is completed." Neither of these definitions specifically link falsework to concrete work. However, most suspended slab formwork uses falsework as part of the "supporting structure" for the formwork.

Falsework is often used during the erection of steel structures and bridges to temporarily support members until such time as the structural elements can be connected together and braced to be self-supporting and provide a complete structural system. The use of the phrasing "or other intended loading" in section 20.26(1) is to cover the use of such falsework during the erection phase of structures. Falsework may also be required and used during the dismantling or demolition of a structure.

Some parts of sections 20.17 to 20.26 of the Regulation include references to both formwork and falsework. These parts can and should be applied to a falsework system that is not part of formwork. However, some provisions in these sections only reference formwork, and clearly are only applicable to formwork.

The employer has responsibility under sections 4.2, 20.6(2), 20.14, 20.15, and 20.23 (2), (3), and (4) to ensure that any structures or equipment which are being erected, used or dismantled are properly managed to ensure the stability of the structure and that no overloading of any elements takes place. It is under these sections of the Regulation that loads such as bundles of reinforcing steel or sheeting material have to be managed. Based on a recommendation of the Construction Safety Subcommittee during the regulation review process, a reference to bundles of reinforcing steel was included in section 20.23(3), to draw attention to the need to manage such loading. Such loads are not intended to be within the scope of "or other intended loading," in section 20.26(1). Hence no inspection and engineering certification under section 20.26(1) should be required prior to their placement.

Clearly section 20.26(1) requires an inspection immediately before placement of concrete. The phrase "other intended loading" in this section requires inspection and certification prior to placing the "main" or design load on a falsework that is not part of a formwork. As described above, this would generally be loads such as trusses, beams, and similar elements which require temporary support until they can be tied in and secured to perform as an effective structural system, and be self-supporting.

Meaning of "immediately before"
The phrase "immediately before" generally means the inspection be done not more than 24 hours prior to the start of concrete placing, and after construction of the formwork for the particular concrete pour has been substantially completed. Inclement weather subsequent to the inspection, or other causes for delay of the concrete placing, will normally necessitate an additional inspection and a professional engineer to revalidate the inspection certificate.

Reuse of gang forms after modifications - section 20.26(3)
Section 20.26(3) requires that an inspection be conducted and a certificate issued by a professional engineer if a gang form is being reused and there has been any modification to the gang form or method of erection.

The gang form includes not only the form (mould) but also the braces and other supporting elements, ties, and associated hardware. Note that section 20.19(2)(g) states that erection drawings and supplementary instructions must include details of supports, including dimensions and locations of external braces, ties, and other supporting devices.

For the purposes of section 20.26(3), modifications to the gang form design include, but are not limited to, any change to the following:

  • Gang form dimensions
  • Number of ties
  • Tie spacing
  • Bracing of the gang form
  • Connection details

Modifications to the method of erection include, but are not limited to, any change to the following:

  • The support elements
  • Design of the pick points
  • The attachment of work platforms

Inspections and certificates
The professional engineer who signs, seals, and issues the written certificate prior to each concrete placing, or application of other intended loading, need not personally inspect the formwork. An inspection must be completed by a professional engineer or his/her directly supervised subordinate and an engineering certificate issued immediately prior to placement of concrete or other intended load. With respect to this certification, direct supervision of the subordinate means taking responsibility for the control and conduct of the engineering work.

Guidelines Part 20 - Concrete pumping

G20.40 Use of outriggers on concrete pumping equipment

Issued August 1999; Editorial Revisions August 2004 and January 1, 2007; Revised August 31, 2007; Revised consequential to February 1, 2012 Regulatory Amendment

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.40(1) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

Outriggers must be used in accordance with the concrete placing boom manufacturer's specifications.

Section 4.3(1) of the Regulation states:

(1) The employer must ensure that each tool, machine and piece of equipment in the workplace is

(a) capable of safely performing the functions for which it is used, and

(b) selected, used and operated in accordance with

(i) the manufacturer's instructions, if available,

(ii) safe work practices, and

(iii) the requirements of this Regulation.

Section 20.26.3 of the Regulation states:

(1) The operation, inspection, testing and maintenance of a concrete pump or placing boom manufactured before August 1, 2012 must meet the requirements of CSA Standard Z151-09, Concrete pumps and placing booms, as set out in clauses 1.1 to 3 [definitions], 4.1.9.2.3, 4.1.18.2, 4.1.19.1, 4.2.1.1, 4.2.2, 5.1.1 to 5.3.4, 5.3.7 to 6.3.4 and 6.5.1 to 6.7.3, including any table, figure or annex referred to in those clauses.

(2) The design, manufacture, installation, operation, inspection, testing and maintenance of a concrete pump or placing boom manufactured on or after August 1, 2012 must meet the requirements of CSA Standard Z151-09, Concrete pumps and placing booms, as set out in clauses 1.1 to 3 [Definitions], 4.1.1.2 to 5.3.4, 5.3.7 to 6.3.4 and 6.5.1 to 6.7.3, including any table, figure or annex referred to in those clauses.

Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to set out some guiding principles for determining the safe work practices to be followed for deploying outriggers under sections 20.40(1), 4.3(1)(b)(ii), and 20.26.3 of the Regulation.

Introduction and background
Outriggers must be fully deployed and the machine leveled in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. This guideline does not address a situation where the operator wishes to deploy outriggers in a manner contrary to the manufacturer's instructions. In that case, the concrete placing firm can contact the manufacturer to ask for a written confirmation of an altered procedure acceptable to the manufacturer. If that is not feasible, for example because the manufacturer is no longer in business, the firm could apply to WorkSafeBC for a variance. If shortrigging is specifically prohibited by the manufacturer, the procedures described later in this guideline that are provided by a qualified person as an alternate cannot be employed unless there is an approved variance.

Regulation section 20.26.3 requires that a concrete pump or placing boom be operated in accordance with prescribed clauses of CSA Z151-09, Concrete pumps and placing booms ("Standard"). Clause 6.3.2 of the Standard states that shortrigging may be used only if

(a) it has been determined that shortrigging is unavoidable

(b) the boom is not operated beyond the area of fully extended outriggers (refer to Figure 10) unless the boom/outrigger control system is range limiting

(c) any outriggers still retracted are jacked and the unit is leveled in accordance with the manufacturer's recommended procedures

(d) the manufacturer's or qualified person's documented procedures are followed

Note: Shortrigging is a condition in which one or more outriggers are not fully deployed on the side away from the boom operational area.

Guiding principles when shortrigging is necessary
Clause 6.3.2(a) of the Standard requires that shortrigging only be used if it is impracticable to fully deploy all outriggers. For example,

  • The outriggers would put the machine within an unsafe distance to hazards such as excavations and power lines
  • The outriggers would extend into traffic and the circumstances of the job render it impracticable to get permission to close traffic lanes (closing traffic lanes is generally subject to municipal approval)
  • An adjacent structure or an excavated or natural bank restricts deployment

It is not considered impracticable to fully deploy all outriggers if the purpose is just to

  • Increase convenience or save money
  • Avoid repositioning the pump
  • Avoid moving stored materials that might reasonably be moved

If the manufacturer's instructions are not available, or do not address the means of deployment where full deployment is not practicable, the following are guiding principles for determining the "safe work practices" under section 4.3(1)(b)(ii) of the Regulation:

1. As far as possible, the worksite should be organized so that concrete pumping equipment can be used with all outriggers fully deployed when the boom is raised. Section 118 of the Workers Compensation Act establishes certain responsibilities on prime contractors at construction projects for complying with the Regulation.

Where this section applies, the prime contractor and the employer of the concrete pump operator share responsibility for selecting the appropriate pump to do the job and for planning the pump's location. If a smaller pump can do the job set-up with all outriggers fully deployed, then it should be used instead of a larger pump that cannot be set up with all outriggers fully deployed. Pump location and set-up should be addressed if a pre-job meeting is held.

2. The pump operator should be trained to recognize the circumstances that justify not fully deploying the outriggers.

Clause 6.3.2(d) of the Standard requires that any required shortrigging follow the manufacturer's or a qualified person's (defined in the Standard) documented procedures.

Written instructions that address the following factors must be available to the operator:

  • Safe operating range: This refers to the regions where the boom may be positioned to maintain truck stability. Typically the safe operating range is the area bounded by the lines extending from the centre of rotation of the boom through the centerline of the jacks of the fully deployed outriggers. The boom must never be unfolded or extended outside of the safe operating range.
  • Outrigger deployment on the pumping side: Typically outriggers must be fully deployed on the side of the equipment over which the boom is extended.
  • Outrigger deployment on the side opposite to the pumping side: Typically, when it is not practicable to fully deploy all outriggers, the outriggers opposite to the pumping side outriggers must be fully retracted and all jacks lowered to the ground to level the equipment. Structural damage or failure may occur to partially extended telescopic outriggers with the jacks lowered.
  • Outrigger bearing load: Proper cribbing to distribute the load may be needed if the soil conditions require it.
  • Procedure for unfolding the boom: Typically the boom will be raised from the cradle, rotated to a position within the safe operating range and then unfolded. If the boom cannot be unfolded within the safe operating range, the other outriggers may have to be fully deployed while the boom is unfolded or folded.
  • Precautions for over-centre booms (i.e., moving the centre of gravity toward the side that does not have fully extended outriggers): There is the potential for backward instability with over-centre booms.

Note: The American Concrete Pumping Association Safety Bulletin "Setting outriggers to prevent accidents - Shortrigging" provides useful guidance in preparing instructions that are specific to the site and equipment conditions. The Bulletin is intended to supplement but not replace the manufacturer's applicable instructions.

G20.47(1) Inspection and certification of masts

Issued April 4, 2007; Revised consequential to February 1, 2012 Regulatory Amendment

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.47(1) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

A mast must be inspected in accordance with good engineering practice at intervals not exceeding 12 months, repaired as necessary, and certified safe for use by a professional engineer, the manufacturer or the manufacturer's authorized agent.

Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to outline some of the factors that should be considered when determining if an inspection has been conducted in accordance with "good engineering practice" under this section. It also provides information on who is authorized to certify the inspection has been done and a mast is safe for use.

The concept of good engineering practice
The annual inspection and certification of a mast is required by the Regulation. This inspection is to be done in accordance with good engineering practice. The concept of good engineering practice as it applies to this section means the inspection, assessment, repair (if necessary), and certification of the equipment is to be done in consideration of the following:

  • Applicable regulations, safety codes, and standards (e.g., CAN/CSA-Z151-09 Concrete pumps and placing booms Clause 5 inspection requirements for structural support systems)
  • Manufacturer's instructions for operation, inspection, maintenance, servicing, and repair
  • Operating, maintenance, and service records

Who may do the certification
Certification will generally be done by a professional engineer. If the inspection, assessment, and any necessary repair work is done in B.C., the engineer, as required by the Engineers and Geoscientists Act, must be licensed to practice in B.C. If this work is being done outside B.C., for example in Alberta, the engineer must be licensed to practice in that jurisdiction.

If the certifying agent is a manufacturer's representative, the person signing the certification should be specifically authorized in writing by the manufacturer to make such a certification on behalf of the manufacturer.

For convenience, the professional engineer or equipment manufacturer's representative will be referred to as the "certifying professional" in the remainder of this guideline.

The inspection and certification process
The employer or owner of the equipment should consult the certifying professional in advance to arrange the location of the inspection, testing, and necessary repair work, and to ensure qualified people and adequate facilities are used. Generally the "hands on" part of the inspection, testing, and repair will be done by mechanics, service technicians, non-destructive testing (NDT) technicians, and other qualified workers as necessary (for example, welders), working under the direction of the certifying professional.

Inspection and certification requires the assessment of the "critical components," meaning the structural, mechanical, and control system components which affect the safe operation of the equipment. The specific identity of these components will vary from one type of equipment to another, depending on the design and configuration of the equipment. Only the applicable components must be inspected and certified e.g., a stationary lattice structure mast does not have mechanical and control system components whereas a self-climbing mast would have electrical and/or hydraulic control system components.

The frequency of inspections of individual components and the extent of the inspection, including dismantling, assessment, and NDT or other testing, will be determined by the certifying professional. The factors relevant in making these determinations include the following:

  1. Requirements of the applicable regulations, safety codes, and standards
  2. The equipment manufacturer's specifications and instructions
  3. The certifying professional's familiarity with the particular design and model of equipment, including known reliability problems or component problems
  4. Previous inspection history and results
  5. Age of the equipment and number of hours of use
  6. Circumstances of use of the equipment (for example, heavy duty vs. light use) and any known incidents since the last certification
  7. The general condition of the equipment
  8. The available use, service, inspection, and maintenance records
  9. The certifying professional's knowledge of the overall effectiveness of the service and maintenance program

 

Based on the outcomes of the inspection, the certifying professional will determine any necessary repair work.

The certification document will include a statement that the equipment is "safe for use" at the completion of the inspection and any necessary repair work. This means that the equipment should then reasonably be expected to perform safely until the next inspection and certification is required if operated according to the manufacturer's instructions.

If the certifying professional deems it necessary to provide a restricted certification statement (for example, that some components are currently acceptable for safe use but will likely require replacement or renewal before the next annual inspection), the certifying professional will ensure the owner or employer is made aware of these concerns and will also note the condition on the equipment inspection and maintenance records. It is not acceptable for the certifying professional to provide a certification when there are outstanding deficiencies affecting the safe performance or compliance of the equipment with the Regulation.

Guidelines Part 20 - Open web joists and trusses

G20.72 Open web joists and trusses

Issued August 1999; Revised August 29, 2016

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.72 of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

(1) Work must not be undertaken on the erection of premanufactured open web joists and trusses until clear and appropriate written instructions from a professional engineer or the manufacturer of the joists or trusses, detailing safe erection procedures, are available at the worksite.

(2) Erection and temporary bracing of open web joists and trusses must be done in accordance with the written instructions required by subsection (1).

Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to clarify the intent of section 20.72 of the Regulation and to provide a list of reference materials.

Erection of open web joists and trusses
The erection of open web joists and trusses is often performed without adequate (or any) written instructions. The erector receives, with the shipment of trusses, a set of truss design drawings that are appropriate for submission to the building inspector. Typically, these drawings indicate permanent bracing requirements but do not address any procedure or need for temporary bracing.

Work on truss erection should not continue if any of the following conditions exist:

(a) Erection and bracing instructions are not available at the site or are obviously incomplete

(b) Work is not being done in accordance with the erection and bracing instructions

(c) Walls or skeletal structural building frame is inadequately braced

(d) Damaged trusses (those with damage such as twisted webs, bent connector plates, cracked chords) are being or have been installed

(e) Heavy loads are being applied to trusses before all bracing, bridging, and decking have been installed

It should be noted that, under section 20.72 of the Regulation, erection includes the hoisting of a partial or entire roof, floor, or other component sections (for example, where a roof is prefabricated on the ground as a unit in one or more pieces and is then hoisted with a crane into position on the building). This operation requires written instructions from a professional engineer or the truss manufacturer detailing all bracing needed for the lift, and the location and construction of the lifting points, complete with rigging details as necessary for the safe lifting of the roof. This applies to open web joists and trusses of any composition, such as wood, metal, or other material.

Reference materials
The following reference materials may be helpful:

  • The Western Wood Truss Association's instructional Handling, Installation and Bracing of Wood Trusses (each member of the Association provides a copy to each site with each truss shipment)
  • Publications by the Structural Building Components Association, Truss Plate Institute, and Truss Plate Institute of Canada:
    • Building Component Safety Information BCSI Canada — Guide to Good Practice for Handling, Installing, Restraining and Bracing of Metal Plate Connected Wood Trusses
    • BCSI-B1C Summary Sheet — Guide for Handling, Installing, Restraining and Bracing of Trusses
    • BCSI-B2C Summary Sheet — Truss Installation and Temporary Restraint/Bracing
    • BCSI-B3C Summary Sheet — Permanent Restraint/Bracing of Chords & Web Members
    • BCSI-B7C Summary Sheet — Guide for Handling, Installing and Bracing of 3x2 and 4x2 Parallel Chord Trusses
    • BCSI-B11C Summary Sheet — Fall Protection & Trusses
  • Publications by the Canadian Wood Council:
    • Wood Design Manual
    • Introduction to Wood Design
    • Engineering Guide for Wood Frame Construction
    • Canadian Span Book
  • Publication by the Manufacturer’s Health and Safety Association:
    • Structural Steel Erection Best Practices

Guidelines Part 20 - Roof work

G20.75 Roof work – Fall protection

Issued August 1999; Revised January 1, 2005; Revised February 19, 2016

Regulatory excerpt
Sections 11.2(2) to 11.2(5) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") state:

(2) The employer must ensure that guardrails meeting the requirements of Part 4 (General Conditions) or other similar means of fall restraint are used when practicable.

(3) If subsection (2) is not practicable, the employer must ensure that another fall restraint system is used.

(4) If subsection (3) is not practicable, the employer must ensure that a fall arrest system is used.

(5) If the use of a fall arrest system is not practicable, or will result in a hazard greater than if the system was not used, the employer must ensure that work procedures are followed that are acceptable to the Board and minimize the risk of injury to a worker from a fall.

Section 20.75 of the Regulation states:

If a worker is employed on a roof having a slope ratio of 8 vertical to 12 horizontal or greater, the worker must use a personal fall protection system or personnel safety nets must be used, and 38 mm x 140 mm (2 in x 6 in nominal) toe-holds must be used if the roofing material allows for it.

Purpose of guideline
This guideline describes different fall protection systems for work on roofs, according to the amount of slope, using the hierarchy in section 11.2 of the Regulation. Sections 20.74 to 20.77 also need to be considered for roof work.

Fall protection systems suitable for each type of roof
The general effect of sections 20.74 to 20.77 and Part 11 of the Regulation is to create three categories of roofs as illustrated in Figure 1 and to provide for different fall protection systems available to be used for each category.

FIGURE 1: THREE CATEGORIES OF ROOFS

Figure 1: Three Categories of Roofs

1. Fall protection available for flat roofs and roofs up to and including 4 vertical to 12 horizontal:

  • guardrails,
  • personal fall protection systems,
  • safety nets,
  • control zone,
  • safety monitor system with control zone, or,
  • other acceptable work procedures.

2. Fall protection available for roofs with a slope ratio greater than 4 vertical to 12 horizontal but less than 8 vertical to 12 horizontal:

  • guardrails,
  • personal fall protection systems,
  • safety nets, or
  • other acceptable work procedures.

The control zone and safety monitor systems are not to be employed on roofs steeper than 4 vertical to 12 horizontal. (See OHS Guideline G11.2(5)-1.)

3. Fall protection available for roofs where the slope ratio is 8 vertical to 12 horizontal or greater

  • if the roofing material allows for the nailing of toe-holds, they must be used, in conjunction with personal fall protection systems or personnel safety nets, as required by section 20.75 of the OHS Regulation, and
  • if the roofing material precludes the use of toe-holds, such as on metal panel, metal tile, or concrete tile, workers should use appropriate roof ladders or acceptable work platforms in conjunction with a personal fall protection system.

Toe-holds are properly oriented with the 6-inch side perpendicular to the roof. Attachment of toe-holds to the roof will typically be accomplished by using manufactured roof jacks according to the manufacturer's instructions. Another method may be to construct an "L" using a 2x4 and 2x6 and securely fastening this L to the roof, as illustrated in Figure 2. The attachment will need to be suitable for the roof and the application, provide safe footing, and be able to withstand any forces likely to be imposed on it. Toe-nailing a 2x6 to the roof is not an acceptable method of securing toe-holds.

FIGURE 2: CONSTRUCTING AN "L" ON A ROOF

Figure 2: Constructing an L on a roof

It should be noted that toe-holds are intended for worker positioning, and are not to be used for the purpose of storing any material other than what is reasonably required to complete the work at hand.

Reference should be made to the particular sections of the Regulation governing the methods of fall protection listed above to determine when exactly they can be used and under what conditions.

G20.77 Mechanical equipment

Issued August 1999, Editorial Revision August 2004

Section 20.77 of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

Mechanical or powered equipment which has the potential to push or pull a worker over an unguarded edge must not be used unless operated according to procedures acceptable to the Board.

Also, section 4.3 of the Regulation requires that equipment must be used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's requirements.

Section 20.77 is not intended to apply to small hand tools such as electric drills. It does apply to larger pieces of equipment such as power sweepers.

The equipment should not be used closer than 2 metres (6.5 feet) to the unguarded edge where a safety monitor or other type of work procedure is being used as a fall protection system. The manufacturers of roofing equipment covered by this section typically specify a limit of about this amount in their instructions. If the instructions specify a limit greater than 2 metres, section 20.77 requires that limit be maintained.

Guidelines Part 20 - Excavations

G20.78 Qualified registered professional and engineering documents

Issued August 1999; Editorial Revision February 7, 2006; Formerly Issued in G20.78(2) - Re-issued as G20.78 January 1, 2009

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.78 of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

(1) Subject to this section, excavation work must be done in accordance with the written instructions of a qualified registered professional if

(a) the excavation is more than 6 m (20 ft) deep,

(b) an improvement or structure is adjacent to the excavation,

(c) the excavation is subject to vibration or hydrostatic pressure likely to result in ground movement hazardous to workers, or

(d) the ground slopes away from the edge of the excavation at an angle steeper than a ratio of 3 horizontal to 1 vertical.

(2) Despite subsection (1), excavation work described in that subsection must be done in accordance with the written instructions of a professional engineer if the excavation requires or uses support structures.

(3) The written instructions required by this section must

(a) be certified by the qualified registered professional concerned,

(b) be available at the site, and

(c) specify the support and sloping requirements, and the subsurface conditions expected to be encountered.

Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to provide information about what is considered acceptable for written instructions required by section 20.78 of the Regulation.

Written instructions
Verbal instructions from a qualified registered professional with no supporting documents are insufficient.

The following should be included as a minimum for a qualified registered professional's certificate on a site under this section:

  • Date of issue
  • Site address/location
  • Drawing/sketch, plan, and sections and/or clearly written instructions
  • Geotechnical description of the expected soil conditions, or confirmation upon site review
  • Limitations for machinery or equipment being adjacent to the excavation
  • Time period for which certification applies
  • Influence of changing weather conditions
  • Name of the certifying qualified registered professional, signature, and seal

Subsequent certifications may refer back to the initial certification documents, in which case such documents shall be available at the site. If conditions and/or instructions change with respect to the conduct of the excavation work, supplementary instructions and documentation are required.

If the certification is incomplete or deemed inadequate, work should stop in the hazard area until acceptable certification is available, or until remedial work is done so that the excavation complies with the Regulation.

G20.78(1)(c) Vibration, hydrostatic pressure or hazardous ground movement

Issued August 1999; Editorial Revision June 6, 2007; Formerly Issued as G20.78(1) - Re-issued as G20.78(1)(c) January 1, 2009

Regulatory excerpt

Section 20.78(1)(c) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

(1) Subject to this section, excavation work must be done in accordance with the written instructions of a qualified registered professional if

(c) the excavation is subject to vibration or hydrostatic pressure likely to result in ground movement hazardous to workers,

Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to provide some explanation of the terms "subject to vibration" and "hydrostatic pressure likely to result in ground movement."

Explanation of "subject to vibration"
An excavation may be considered "subject to vibration" under section 20.78(1)(c) if there is activity such as heavy vehicle traffic, blasting, road compaction equipment, or compaction during backfill placement close to the excavation. The severity of the vibrations as well as the distance between the activity to the excavation shall be considered.

Hydrostatic pressure and hazardous ground movement
Hydrostatic pressure is a concern if water is coming out of the sides or base of an excavation. Engineering or other work done in accordance with the written instructions of a qualified registered professional is required unless an effective dewatering system can be implemented. If water can be prevented by the use of a dewatering system, hydrostatic pressure should not be a problem. Using a water pump to remove nominal surface runoff (such as from rainfall) should be acceptable without engineering or other work done in accordance with the written instructions of a qualified registered professional. If the soil adjacent to an excavation has undergone significant changes in moisture content, the stability of the excavation sides may be in question. Soil that is frozen, or may freeze due to the ambient air temperature during the excavation work, may cause development of hydrostatic pressure and thus such excavation work should only be undertaken following a qualified registered professional's instructions.

G20.78(1)(d) Ground slope adjacent to excavation work

Issued February 22, 2005; Formerly Issued as G20.78(1)(e) - Re-Issued as G20.78(1)(d) January 1, 2009

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.78(1) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

(1) Subject to this section, excavation work must be done in accordance with the written instructions of a qualified registered professional if

(a) the excavation is more than 6 m (20 ft) deep,

(b) an improvement or structure is adjacent to the excavation,

(c) the excavation is subject to vibration or hydrostatic pressure likely to result in ground movement hazardous to workers, or

(d) the ground slopes away from the edge of the excavation at an angle steeper than a ratio of 3 horizontal to 1 vertical.

Purpose of guideline
The requirements under section 20.78 address certain circumstances where the general sloping and shoring requirements under section 20.81 do not provide adequate protection for the safety of workers. In these special circumstances, a qualified registered professional is required to oversee assessment of the site and provide written instructions about performance of the work.

This guideline discusses the circumstance set out in 20.78(1)(d) – as it applies to construction or maintenance work performed along an established road or other similar right of way.

Purpose of 20.78(1)(d)
The intent of section 20.78(1)(d) is to address the hazards arising from situations where the ground slopes up or down from the top edge of an excavation. Where the ground slopes up, the concern is for the increase in lateral ground pressure that arises due to the weight of soil positioned above a 3 horizontal to 1 vertical slope. This weight is an extra load that has not been allowed for in the sloping and shoring requirements specified in section 20.81 of the Regulation. Where the ground slopes down and away, the concern is the lack of adequate lateral support on the downhill side for any bracing specified in section 20.81 positioned against the downhill excavation face.

The control of surface runoff and soil erosion may also be a concern. These concerns arise particularly when the excavation work will be a side hill cut, bulk excavation, or a trench other than in a direction in line with the natural ground slope. Stated another way, if the excavation will generally be "across" the slope in a manner that will change the cross section profile of the slope, section 20.78(1)(d) will apply.

The slopes along a right of way will generally have been designed to provide stable faces to the extent necessary to balance safe and economical functioning of the right of way. Where the right of way was not so designed, but has been in place for at least a year (one full season cycle of rain and/or freezing weather as applicable for the geographical area), the slopes should have reached a natural, stable state. Any excavation activity that will alter the design profile, or naturally stable profile, of a cross section of a slope is within the scope of section 20.78(1)(d).

Excavation work that does not change the cross section of the slope
Some maintenance or construction activities along a right of way may involve minor or localized excavation work that will not alter the "general" cross section profile of a slope in a manner that would affect the overall stability of the slope. Some examples of excavation activity of this type are

  • Installing a utility pole, lamp standard, or signpost through use of an auger, drill, or similar device to dig a "post hole" or use of a back hoe or other equipment to dig a "bell hole"
  • Cleaning out a drainage ditch or clearing a buffer zone to restore the original design profile and grade
  • Installing or repairing a shallow culvert running generally in line with the natural ground slope (or perpendicular to the centre line of the right of way)
  • Shouldering work, profiling a road surface, or similar minor excavation work within a compacted roadway
  • Excavating a "bell hole" to repair a buried pipe or similar service

These excavations generally do not require any additional or special sloping or shoring considerations as the dimensions of the excavation are generally small enough that the natural "bridging action" of the soil provides enough support. Also, in most of these cases a worker does not enter into the actual excavation. These types of excavation activities generally do not require any written instructions from a qualified registered professional.

It must be remembered however, that the hazard of loose material (such as rocks, logs, or trees) coming down from a slope above always needs to be evaluated and considered whenever work is being done near the base of the slope. Also, hazards may develop from weather conditions, such as extreme rainfall, or the potential for an avalanche. A "tailboard" or "tool box" meeting should be held with the crew to discuss the conditions in the planned work area prior to starting work. Loose material and weather condition hazards need to be assessed by a qualified person at least daily and preferably, before each work shift. The condition of the slope above must be examined and any loose material that could be a hazard should be removed or stabilized before work starts. If the daily assessment raises any concern regarding the overall stability of the slope, a qualified registered professional's assessment and advice should be obtained.

Excavation work that will change the cross section of the slope
There are some excavation activities related to servicing and maintaining a right of way that involve work at or near the base of an unstable or potentially unstable slope and will alter the overall cross section of the slope. Two examples of such activity are slope stabilization and the removal of rock or mud slide material. Prior to starting such work, a qualified registered professional should oversee the assessment of the conditions in the area to determine if there is a significant risk of substantial material flow (either immediately or as the work proceeds) that could endanger workers.

If the qualified registered professional determines there is a significant risk, written instructions on how to proceed (covering aspects such as the sequence of work, selection of equipment, and work methods) need to be obtained from the qualified registered professional.

If the qualified registered professional determines there is only a minimal risk of a substantial material flow, the work plan can be developed without further input from the qualified registered professional. Work of this type generally involves powered excavating equipment that is substantial in size and affords protection for the operator in the event of any minor material flow. If there is a danger of logs, trees, or other debris coming down the slope, operators of mobile equipment must be protected by suitable cabs, screens, grills, shields, guards or structures (see section 16.21 of the Regulation). It is necessary that such operations be carried out, as far as is practicable, so that the height of any unstable face being worked does not exceed the maximum safe reach of the excavating equipment being used (see section 20.93 of the Regulation).

Pedestrian workers should stay clear of the working face, any other unstable faces, and operating equipment.

Rock scaling
Rock scaling is a form of excavation, but is not generally an activity that will change the cross section profile of a slope. Scaling of slopes is not an activity normally considered within the scope of section 20.78, and is specifically addressed in sections 20.96 to 20.101 of the Regulation. If there is a concern regarding the overall stability of a slope that is to be scaled, a qualified registered professional's assessment and instructions should be obtained and followed.

G20.79 Underground utilities

Issued August 1999; Editorial Revision August 2004; Revised February 13, 2006; Revised February 24, 2006; Revised August 11, 2010; Editorial Revision to include February 1, 2011 Regulatory Amendment; Revised July 27, 2016

Regulatory excerpt

Section 20.79 of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

(1) Before excavating or drilling with powered tools and equipment, the location of all underground utility services in the area must be accurately determined, and any danger to workers from those utility services must be controlled.

(2) Excavation or drilling work in proximity to an underground utility service must be undertaken in conformity with the requirements of the owner of that utility service.

(3) Pointed tools must not be used to probe for underground petroleum and electrical utility services.

(4) Powered equipment used for excavating must be operated so as to avoid damage to underground utility services, or danger to workers.

Section 4.18 of the Regulation states:

If work activities conducted by or on behalf of an employer cause a utility service to be hit or damaged, the employer must notify the owner of the utility service without delay.

Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to highlight the following:

  • Reference the practice document related to the requirements under section 20.79 of the Regulation
  • Explain how to obtain locate information
  • Describe the use of hydrovacing to expose underground utilities
  • Highlight some jurisdictional considerations
  • Explain the occupational health and safety obligations of employers when their work activities result in a hit or damage to a pipeline, buried electrical cable, or other such utility

WorkSafeBC's practice document
Prevention of Damage to Buried Facilities in British Columbia provides practices and procedures for excavating near buried facilities. The information in the document should be considered in conjunction with applicable legislation and regulations.

Obtaining locate information
An effective way to accurately determine the location of all underground utility services in the area is to contact BC One Call. BC One Call is the communication link between the ground disturbance community and the owner/operator of underground facilities who are registered members of BC One Call.

Not all utility companies are members of BC One Call. A complete list of members can be found on the BC One Call website. The person proposing to undertake a ground disturbance will need to identify and contact directly the owners of buried facilities that are not members of BC One Call.

BC One Call contact information:

Toll-free: 1-800-474-6886
Cellular: *6886 (free call)
Vancouver area: 604-257-1940
www.bconecall.bc.ca

Use of hydrovacing equipment for locating buried utilities
Hydrovacing is the use of pressurized water to liquefy and loosen soil, which is then removed by the use of on-truck vacuum systems and hoses. It can be an effective, efficient, and safe means of accurately locating and exposing ("daylighting") underground utility lines.

When performed in conformity with the requirements, restrictions, and prohibitions of the utility owner, and following safe work procedures that adequately address hazards that workers may be exposed to, hydrovacing can be as safe as hand digging. It is important to have the locate information and any necessary permits prior to hydrovacing.

Note that the various utility owners and regulators (e.g., water, petroleum product, electrical, sanitary sewer, and steam) may have different requirements or prohibitions and employers performing hydrovacing need to be aware of and adhere to these rules.

Other legislation governing excavations near underground utilities
Jurisdictions other than WorkSafeBC also have statutes and regulations that apply to excavation or drilling in proximity to an underground utility service. For example, the Gas Safety Regulation specifies the means by which excavators who work near a gas installation must determine the existence of underground gas services and the methods that excavators must use to find the exact location of services.

Refer to Prevention Manual Policy Item D1-108-1 Application of Part 3 - Where Jurisdictional Limits Exist for guidance on how WorkSafeBC prevention officers will exercise their powers in situations where there are jurisdictional limits on those powers.

Regulation requirements if contact with any underground facility occurs
Notify the owner of the utility without delay
Section 4.18 of the Regulation requires that if work activities conducted by or on behalf of an employer cause a utility service to be hit or damaged, the employer must notify the owner of the utility service without delay.

Notify WorkSafeBC where required
Damage to underground facilities can cause death or serious injury to a worker. Section 172 of the Workers Compensation Act ("Act") specifies the accidents that an employer must immediately report to WorkSafeBC, including any accident that results in serious injury or death of a worker, or involves the major release of a hazardous substance.

An important factor in determining whether there is a major release of a hazardous substance is the seriousness of risk to the health of workers that the release presents. Policy includes some factors that determine the seriousness of the risk. Situations involving natural gas that should be considered a "serious risk" include the following:

  • It was necessary for people to be evacuated from buildings
  • Gas seeped into sewers or drains
  • Any person required medical treatment
  • The gas leak ignited
  • Repair workers entered the gas envelope when the atmosphere contained flammable gas or vapor concentrations in excess of 20% of the lower explosive limit (LEL)
  • A non-gas company worker entered an excavation, after a strike, to attempt to stop or slow the flow of gas

Policy Item D10-172-1 Accident Reporting and Investigation - Immediate Notice of Certain Accidents (Major Release of Hazardous Substance) discusses the meaning of the "major release of a hazardous substance" under section 172 of the Act.

Investigate the incident
Under section 173 of the Act employers must immediately undertake an investigation into the cause of any accident or incident that had a potential for causing serious injury to a worker. Any gas line hit or high voltage contact is likely to fall into this category and an investigation is required.

Also, under section 173 of the Act the employer must investigate the occurrence of any accident that involved the major release of a hazardous substance. Refer to section 173 of the Act for additional incidents that employers must investigate.

G20.81 Sloping and shoring requirements

Issued August 1999; Editorial Revision August 31, 2007; Editorial Revision January 1, 2009

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.81(1) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

Subject to section 20.78, before a worker enters any excavation over 1.2 m (4 ft) in depth or, while in the excavation, approaches closer to the side or bank than a distance equal to the depth of the excavation, the employer must ensure that the sides of the excavation are

(a) sloped as specified in writing by a qualified registered professional,

(b) sloped at angles, dependent on soil conditions, which will ensure stable faces, but in no case may the slope or combination of vertical cut and slope exceed that shown in Figure 20-1,

(c) benched as shown in Figure 20-2,

(d) supported as specified in writing by a professional engineer,

(e) supported in accordance with the minimum requirements of section 20.85, or

(f) supported by manufactured or prefabricated trench boxes or shoring cages, or other effective means.

Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to provide explanatory material for the Regulation requirements in sub-sections 20.81(a)–(f).

Explanatory information for subsections 20.81(a)–(f)
This section is subject to section 20.78, which requires written instructions from a qualified registered professional in certain situations.

"Excavation" is defined in section 20.1 as meaning any "cut, cavity, trench or depression in the earth's surface resulting from rock or soil removal." This includes, for example, a hole dug in the ground, as well as the cutting of material away from a slope, such as occurs on roadway construction.

Section 20.81 requires that one of clauses (a) to (f) be met in all cases where an excavation over 1.2 m (4 ft) deep has a width that is equal to or less than twice its depth. If the excavation is wider than twice its depth, this will only have to be done if the worker will approach "closer to the side or bank than a distance equal to the depth of the excavation." The latter includes situations where there is no measurable width because the excavation is, for example, a cut into a slope. In these situations, the worker must enter and exit the excavation by a safe route, for example, a properly sloped or shored portion of the excavation.

Section 20.81(1)(e) refers to section 20.85. Section 20.85, and by reference Table 20-1, contain detailed specifications for "trench support structures." A "trench" is defined in section 20.1 as "an excavation less than 3.7 m (12 ft) wide at the bottom, over 1.2 m (4 ft) deep, and of any length." Section 20.81(1)(c) and section 20.85 do not apply to excavations over 12 feet wide, or excavations that have no measurable width.

Section 20.81(1)(f) permits the use of manufactured or prefabricated trench boxes or shoring cages. These may be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions or engineering certification for the device, unless the instructions for use do not adequately include the circumstances of use or questions arising at the site, or where the situation is covered in the scope of section 20.78. The instructions for use and/or certification of a trench box or cage should specify the types of soil conditions for which it is intended and the instructions relating to each. A copy of this information should be on site.

Section 20.81(1)(f) also permits the use of "other effective means." Means of shoring other than "manufactured or prefabricated trench boxes or shoring cages" referred to under section 20.81(f) should be done in accordance with the written instructions of a professional engineer under section 20.81(d).

G20.85 Trench support structures

Issued August 1999; Editorial Revision January 1, 2009

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.85 of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

(1) Trench support structures, other than those designed by a professional engineer, must comply with Table 20-1 for the following relevant soil conditions:

Soil type Description of soil
A hard and solid
B likely to crack or crumble
C soft, sandy, filled or loose

(2) If Table 20-1 is to be used for a combination of supporting and sloping, the selection of shoring elements must be based on the overall depth of the excavation, and the arrangement must conform to Figure 20-3.

(3) Cross braces and trench jacks must be installed in a horizontal position and must be secured against dislodgement.

(4) The minimum number of cross braces at each cross bracing location is determined by the trench depth as follows:

Depth at location Number of braces
up to 2.4 m (8 ft) 2
2.4 m to 3.7 m (8 ft to 12 ft) 3
3.7 m to 4.6 m (12 ft to 15 ft) 4
4.6 m to 6 m (15 ft to 20 ft) 5

(5) At each cross bracing location the cross braces must be less than 1.2 m (4 ft) apart, and the uppermost cross brace must be within 60 cm (2 ft) of ground level.

(7) Hydraulic or pneumatic trench jacks must have a means of ensuring that they will not collapse in the event of loss of internal pressure.

(8) Uprights must not spread outwards more than 15 degrees from the vertical when viewed along the trench.

(9) Plywood may be substituted for two inch thick shoring elements provided that

(a) the plywood is not less than 19 mm (3/4 in) thick,

(b) the trench is not over 2.7 m (9 ft) in depth,

(c) uprights are installed at not over 60 cm (2 ft) centres,

(d) cross braces do not bear directly on plywood, and

(e) cross braces bearing on uprights or walers are located at all joints in plywood sheathing.

Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to provide information about requirements for trench support structures and types of soil. The guideline also provides information about combining sloping and shoring.

Trench support structures and soil type
Section 20.85 of the Regulation and its accompanying tables and figures set out detailed requirements for trench support structures required under section 20.81(1)(e). Any trench support structures not covered by these requirements, other than "manufactured or prefabricated trench boxes or shoring cages" allowed by section 20.81(f), must be covered by a professional engineer's certificate under section 20.81(d).

The requirements of section 20.85 depend on the type of soil. Type A soil is described in the section as "hard and solid." No soil is type A if it:

  • Is fissured
  • Is subject to vibration from heavy traffic, pile driving, or similar effects
  • Has been previously disturbed
  • Is part of a sloped or layered system where the layers dip towards the excavation on a slope of 4H:1V or greater
  • The material is subject to factors that would require it to be classified as a less stable material

Type C soil is described in section 20.85 as "soft, sandy, filled or loose." It typically has a low, unconfined compressive strength. It can be

  • A granular soil, including gravel, sand, and loamy sand
  • Submerged soil or soil from which water is freely seeping
  • Submerged rock that is not stable
  • Material in a sloped, layered system where the layers dip towards the excavation on a slope of 4H:1V or greater

A more detailed, technical classification of soil types is available in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Part 1926, Subpart P, Appendix A. Visual and testing parameters are provided for analysis.

Combination of sloping and shoring
Section 20.85(2) and Figure 20-3 specify an option if a combination of sloping and shoring is to be used. The following additional information may help clarify the relationship between H, the 1:1 slope, and the 1.5H horizontal dimension in Figure 20-3. If the broken reference line extending on a 1:1 slope from the toe or base of the excavation meets the surface of undisturbed ground within a distance of 1.5 times the depth of the trench, the trench support structures specified by section 20.85 can be used. If not, the original ground slopes upward steeper than a 1 vertical in 3 horizontal slope, and a professional engineer's certificate must be obtained under section 20.81(d) and followed.

Guidelines Part 20 - Marine construction, pile driving and dredging

G20.102 Suspended work platforms in marine construction and pile driving activities

Issued May 17, 2006

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.102 of the OHS Regulation states:

(1) Suspended work platforms such as gilley boards, small boats and buckets used to support workers must meet the requirements for suspended work platforms in Part 13 (Ladders, Scaffolds and Temporary Work Platforms).

(2) Despite section 13.27(5), a secondary hoisting line on a crane may be used to suspend workers on a work platform in a marine construction or pile driving operation if

(a) it is not practicable to provide another means for positioning workers to perform work tasks,

(b) all the crane's hoisting gear that is being used conforms to section 13.29(1), and

(c) the total load attached to or suspended from all load lines of the crane does not exceed 50% of the rated capacity of the crane for the reach and configuration.

Purpose of guideline
This guideline provides information on the circumstances under section 20.102(2)(a) in which WorkSafeBC expects it will be practicable to use a second crane or other hoist as a means for positioning workers to perform work tasks, and when it will not be practicable. The term "practicable" is defined in the OHS Regulation to mean "that which is reasonably capable of being done." The guideline also provides information on the application of section 20.102(2)(b).

Practicability of using a second crane or other hoist
The issue of practicability varies somewhat depending on whether the operations are done using equipment based on the ground or a dock, or are performed using equipment based on a barge, scow, or similar floating support.

  1. Operations where equipment is used on the ground or a dock: It is generally considered practicable to use a second crane, a boom-supported elevating work platform, or other safe means to position workers to do tasks at height unless the area does not provide sufficient space or there are conditions that do not permit safe positioning of additional equipment. Examples of such cases include operations done on ground where access is limited or soil conditions preclude the use of additional equipment, and those done from a narrow wharf, jetty, or dock area with substantial space restrictions.

    If the space is adequate for the operation of a second crane or other hoisting device, it may still not be practicable to bring in the second piece of equipment if the work is extremely short in duration or involves only a few lifts and is incidental to the job. Two examples are noted below.
    • The work is solely for the purpose of routine maintenance on the crane, pile driver, or leads. For example, if it is necessary to re-thread a pile line on the leads, or to access the upper sheaves of the crane for maintenance such as lubrication, the use of a work platform suspended on a second load line while the pile driver and/or leads remain supported by another load line of the crane is considered normal and acceptable practice.
    • During marine construction and pile driving work there may be other short duration lifting tasks that need to be done, for example the top of a light standard may need to be installed or removed. For such tasks the pile driver and leads are disconnected from the crane, rendering the crane available for use in its usual or normal configuration, with one load line supporting workers in a platform and the other line used to position or support the part to be installed or removed.

      However, if such crane tasks are more than incidental, for example the work will take more than a day, and equipment such as a second crane or a boom-supported elevating work platform is reasonably available to the site, WorkSafeBC expects the work to be planned and executed in a manner that complies with section 13.27(5).
  2. Operations where equipment is used on a barge or scow: It is generally considered not to be practicable to use a second crane to lift a work platform or use an elevating work platform when operations are done from a barge, scow or similar floating equipment.

    For example, if the secondary equipment is placed on the same barge or scow there usually will not be sufficient space to safely position the equipment. Also, in the case of an elevating work platform, it may not be possible to assure that the elevating work platform carrier will remain level within the limits normally required for safe operation of such equipment, in circumstances where there is listing of the barge or scow resulting from loads being handled by the crane, or as a result of wind and wave action.

    If the secondary equipment is placed on another barge or scow, or on a nearby dock or land area there may be hazards to workers created from the relative movement of the two pieces of lifting equipment, as a result of the listing of the barge or scow from loads being handled by the crane, or from wind and wave action.

Intention of section 20.102(2)(b)
This provision references section 13.29(1) of the OHS Regulation, and broadens the application of the requirements under that section to all hoisting gear, including the primary line, the line used to lift workers and, where applicable, the boom hoist. In other words, all hoisting lines must be operated as slowly as practicable when workers are being lifted on the platform and must be lowered under power, and no line may be used with a free running boom or hoisting winch controlled only by brakes. Section 13.29(2) and (3) continue to apply, but only to the line used to lift workers.

Guidelines Part 20 - Demolition

G20.112 Hazardous materials – Asbestos

Issued June 18, 2008; Revised consequential to February 1, 2012 Regulatory Amendment; Revised consequential to February 1, 2015 Regulatory Amendment; Editorial Revision consequential to May 1, 2017 Regulatory Amendment

Regulatory excerpt
Section 20.112 of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states:

(1) In this section:

"hazardous material" means a hazardous substance, or material containing a hazardous substance, including

(a) asbestos-containing material,

(b) lead or any other heavy metal, or

(c) toxic, flammable or explosive material,

that may be handled, disturbed or removed in the course of the demolition or salvage of machinery, equipment, a building or a structure, or the renovation of a building or structure;

"qualified person", except in subsections (7) and (8), means a person who

(a) has, through education and training, knowledge of the management and control of the hazardous materials that the qualified person is made aware of by the employers, and the owner, or that are reasonably foreseeable by the qualified person, as being

(i) on or in the machinery, equipment, building or structure that is the subject of the demolition, salvage or renovation, or

(ii) at the worksite, and

(b) has experience in the management and control of those hazardous materials.

(2) Before work begins on the demolition or salvage of machinery, equipment, a building or a structure, or the renovation of a building or structure, all employers responsible for that work, and the owner, must ensure that a qualified person inspects the machinery, equipment, building or structure and the worksite to identify the hazardous materials, if any.

(3) In conducting an inspection and identifying the hazardous materials, if any, under subsection (2), a qualified person must do the following:

(a) collect representative samples of the material that may be hazardous material;

(b) identify each representative sample and determine whether it is hazardous material;

(c) if the actions under paragraphs (a) and (b) are not practicable, or not appropriate in the circumstances, use other sufficient means to identify the hazardous materials, if any;

(d) based on the actions taken under paragraphs (a) and (b) or (c), determine the location of each of the hazardous materials identified;

(e) make a written report of the inspection, including,

(i) if the actions under paragraphs (a) and (b) were taken,

(A) the location of each representative sample, and

(B) the identity of each representative sample and whether it is hazardous material,

(ii) if the actions under paragraph (c) were taken, the identity of each of the hazardous materials, if any,

(iii) a description of the methods used under paragraph (b) or (c),

(iv) the location, as determined under paragraph (d), of each of the hazardous materials identified, including by using drawings, plans or specifications, and

(v) the approximate quantity of each of the hazardous materials identified.

(4) All employers responsible for work being carried out on the worksite where the demolition or salvage of the machinery, equipment, building or structure, or the renovation of the building or structure is taking place, and the owner, must ensure that the following information is available at the worksite:

(a) a report made under subsection (3)(e);

(b) a report made under subsection (6)(e);

(c) a written confirmation under subsection (8).

(5) All employers responsible for containing or removing any of the hazardous materials identified under subsection (2) or (6) must safely contain or remove those hazardous materials.

(6) If, after written confirmation is provided under subsection (8), a person discovers material that may be hazardous material on or in the machinery, equipment, building or structure or at the worksite, not previously determined to be hazardous material under this section, all employers responsible for the demolition or salvage of the machinery, equipment, building or structure, or the renovation of the building or structure, and the owner, must ensure that a qualified person does the following:

(a) collects representative samples of the material;

(b) identifies each representative sample and determines whether it is hazardous material;

(c) if the actions under paragraphs (a) and (b) are not practicable, or not appropriate in the circumstances, uses other sufficient means to determine if the material is hazardous material;

(d) based on the actions taken under paragraphs (a) and (b) or (c), determines the location of the hazardous material, if any;

(e) makes a written report, including,

(i) if the actions under paragraphs (a) and (b) were taken,

(A) the location of each representative sample, and

(B) the identity of each representative sample and whether it is hazardous material,

(ii) if the actions under paragraph (c) were taken, the identity of the hazardous material, if any, and

(iii) if hazardous material was identified, the location of the hazardous material, including by using drawings, plans or specifications.

(7) All employers responsible for the demolition or salvage of the machinery, equipment, building or structure, or the renovation of the building or structure, and the owner, must ensure that, with respect to the hazardous materials identified under subsection (2) or (6),

(a) no demolition, salvage or renovation work that may disturb the hazardous materials, other than work necessary to safely contain or remove the hazardous materials, is carried out until the hazardous materials are safely contained or removed, and

(b) a qualified person complies with subsection (8).

(8) A qualified person must ensure, and confirm in writing, that the hazardous materials identified under subsection (2) or (6) are safely contained or removed.

Purpose of guideline
Demolition, renovation, and salvage work involve the taking apart and destruction, in whole or in part, of buildings, structures, equipment, and machinery. These processes have the potential to create harmful exposures to hazardous materials. Section 20.112(1) of the Regulation lists several types of hazardous materials which must be identified and either safely contained or safely removed prior to demolition, renovation, or salvage work. Asbestos is one of these materials.

The purpose of this guideline is to explain the hazards associated with the uncontrolled release of asbestos. It also provides information for owners, employers, consultants, workers, and other involved persons on what constitutes a compliant asbestos inspection, arranging for and confirming the safe abatement of asbestos, and what to do if additional materials suspected to contain asbestos are encountered during demolition, renovation, or salvage work.

Note: Demolition work is often a necessary component of restoration work following a fire or flood, and the requirements of section 20.112 of the Regulation and the information in this guideline also apply when demolition work is part of restoration work.

Background information
Demolition, renovation, and salvage work, if performed incorrectly, can create harmful dust exposures to a variety of workers and other persons, including owners, developers, demolition, renovation, and salvage workers, inspectors, transportation workers, landfill workers, and the public. If demolition of a house/building proceeds without first ensuring the identification and safe removal of the asbestos hazards, asbestos dust can be released, and remain airborne for a long period of time, potentially exposing workers. During the demolition of the interior walls and ceilings, the demolition, renovation, or salvage workers may then be exposed to airborne asbestos fibres in the dust from the gypsum board filling compound (sometimes called drywall mud) and from textured ceilings and walls. Vermiculite attic insulation containing asbestos fibres can spill out of the attic when the ceiling material is removed. Asbestos-containing dusts from these activities can contaminate the site and disperse to neighbouring properties exposing other persons. As asbestos-containing debris is loaded into a disposal truck the excavator operator and the truck driver can be exposed to asbestos-containing dusts which can also drift into neighbouring properties. As the disposal truck travels to the landfill site, dust that contains asbestos can blow out of the truck, spreading asbestos dust along its travel route. When the truck discharges its asbestos contaminated load at the landfill, unprotected landfill site workers can be exposed to the airborne hazard. These work practices are unacceptable and non-compliant with the Regulation.

Asbestos hazards must be controlled through the identification and safe abatement of asbestos, by trained persons, before demolition, renovation, or salvage work. This guideline provides information for acceptable identification, assessment, reporting, and removal of asbestos hazards in buildings and structures (refer also to the "Ten Steps to Compliance" chart at the end of this guideline).

The requirements in section 20.112 of the Regulation are related to other requirements in both the Regulation and the Workers Compensation Act ("Act"). For example, when asbestos is removed, other requirements in Part 6-Asbestos of the Regulation are also applicable. The requirements in sections 115 (General duties of employers) and 119 (General duties of owner) in the Act also apply.

More information related to asbestos hazard assessment and control measures for building demolition, renovation, and salvage work can be found in the following:

Responsibilities and qualifications
Sections 20.112(2), (4), (5), (6), and (7) of the Regulation specify explicit responsibilities for the owner and the employers. As per section 124 of the Act, these parties need not duplicate the same compliance efforts providing they coordinate their actions to ensure that compliance with all provisions of section 20.112 is achieved.

Prior to asbestos removal occurring, all employers responsible for the work, as well as the owner or prime contractor must ensure that a notice of project (NOP) for asbestos, as required under section 20.2.1 of the Regulation, is submitted to WorkSafeBC at least 48 hours in advance of the actual removal of asbestos. The NOP must include detailed written safe work procedures and a written report as required under sections 20.112(3)(e) or 20.112(6)(e) of the Regulation. Only one NOP needs to be submitted.

Under sections 20.112(2), (3), and (6) a qualified person has responsibilities regarding inspection, sample collection, identification, and report-writing. The qualifications required by the person fulfilling these requirements are defined in section 20.112(1). These qualifications would typically be held by an asbestos consultant or specialist. A qualified person is also required to fulfill duties in sections 20.112(7) and (8). The qualifications required of this person are described in section 1.1 of the Regulation as being knowledgeable of the work, the hazards involved, and the means to control the hazards, by reason of education, training, experience, or a combination thereof. This person may be a different person than the qualified person described in sections 20.112(2), (3), and (6).

The following activities should also be conducted by a qualified person with education, training, and experience in the management and control of asbestos hazards:

  • Collection and interpretation of air samples during asbestos abatement projects
  • Preparation of inspection reports
  • Conduction of workplace inspections

Inspection for and identification of any asbestos-containing materials
Section 20.112(2) of the Regulation requires that before work begins on the demolition or salvage of machinery, equipment, buildings, or structures, or the renovation of a building or structure, the employer or owner must ensure a qualified person inspects the site to identify any asbestos-containing materials. This is separate from an inventory required by section 6.4 of the Regulation. The inventory prepared under section 6.4(1) is required for the protection of workers who may occupy a building. Although it may not include asbestos that wasn't readily accessible (e.g., hidden behind concrete walls or under a number of layers of flooring), the inventory required by section 6.4(1) will be a useful aid in conducting the inspection and identification of hazardous materials as specified in section 20.112(2). The purpose of the inspection required by section 20.112(2) is to locate and identify all asbestos-containing material prior to renovation, demolition, and salvage activities.

The asbestos inspection process is referred to as a pre-renovation or pre-demolition asbestos survey and the person conducting the inspection is often referred to as the surveyor. The asbestos survey includes a walk-through inspection, sample collection, sample analysis, reporting, and communication of the results. Surveyors must be familiar with proper walk-through and sample collection practices. There are a number of recognized industry standards which provide guidance on conducting asbestos surveys, and include the following:


The first step in the asbestos survey is to identify asbestos hazards by a thorough and systematic walk-through inspection of the site. The site may be a building (commercial, industrial, or residential), a structure, a machine, or a piece of equipment. Asbestos identification and recognition is a specialized skill and it is essential that the surveyor be adequately instructed, trained, and experienced in identifying materials known to, or likely to, contain asbestos.

Table 1 lists some of the materials that commonly contain asbestos in older commercial, industrial, and residential buildings.

Table 1: Asbestos Materials in Older Commercial, Industrial, and Residential Buildings

Exterior
Interior insulation
  • Asbestos cement pipes (e.g., drain pipes)
  • Roof felting
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Soffit boards
  • Stucco
  • Asbestos cement siding
  • Brick mortar
  • Window putty
  • Deck undersheathing
  • Asbestos cement shingles
  • Spray-applied insulation (acoustic and fireproofing)
  • Vermiculite (blown-in) insulation (e.g., in attics)
  • Paper backing on fibreglass insulation
  • Flooring
    Heating (HVAC) and ducting
  • Vinyl sheet flooring and mastic
  • Vinyl floor tile and mastic
  • Poured flooring/levelling compound
  • Asphalt flooring
  • Furnace duct tape
  • Furnace/boiler insulation
  • Pipe (mechanical) insulation
  • Hot water tank insulation
  • Mastic
  • Asbestos rope and gaskets
  • Asbestos cement board
  • Asbestos cardboard insulation
  • Walls & Ceilings
    Other
  • Drywall mud
  • Plaster
  • Asbestos cement board
  • Textured coatings
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Fireplace box and mantel
  • Artificial fireplace logs and ashes
  • Fire doors
  • Insulation on electrical wiring
  • Fire blankets
  • Chalk boards
  • Heat reflectors
  • Penetration firestopping
  • Candescent light fixture backing (pot lights)

  • Note: This list does not include every product that may contain asbestos. It is intended as a general guide (refer also to the online WorkSafeBC Bulletin WS 03-03).

    During the initial walk-through inspection the surveyor systematically goes through each area and room in the building observing the wall, ceiling, floor, and other materials including any machinery or equipment (e.g., an old boiler or HVAC system) and hidden insulating materials to make a preliminary determination if asbestos could be present. During this walk-through, the surveyor will also consider where to collect representative bulk samples of suspected asbestos material. Once the walk-through is complete, the surveyor has the necessary information to begin the sampling process (refer to the next section).

    The following Asbestos Inspection Results worksheet (and completed worksheet example) illustrates an acceptable method by which asbestos survey results can be summarized for an owner or contractor. Refer also to sections 20.112(3)(e)(iii)–(v) of the Regulation. It may be necessary to include drawings or plans.

    Asbestos Inspection Results
    Project Name:   Date of Survey:  
    Address:   Survey Company:  
    Description:   Surveyor:  
    Previous Renovations?   Age of Structure:  
    Laboratory Name:   Analysis Method(s):  
     
    Area or Room
    (directions when facing house)
    Building Materials Sampling Location Material Collected (sample #) Asbestos Type and Percentage Approximate Quantity of Asbestos
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               

    Asbestos Inspection Results (Example)
    Project Name: Chan Residence Date of Survey: 15 Oct 07
    Address: 123 Anystreet, North Vancouver, B.C. Survey Company: Bob's Asbestos Consulting
    Description: Residential (house); One Storey Rancher with an Attic Surveyor: Bob Smith
    Previous Renovations? Yes, Bathroom and Kitchen (10 years ago) Age of Structure: 45 Years
    Laboratory Name: Asbestos Laboratories Inc Analysis Method(s): NIOSH Method 9002
    EPA/600/R-04/004
     
    Area or Room
    (directions when facing house)
    Building Materials Sampling Location Material Collected
    (sample #)
    Asbestos Type and Percentage Approximate Quantity of Asbestos
    Entry Walls and ceiling are drywall;
    floor is ceramic tile
    Right Wall
    Drywall Mud
    (1)
    Chrysotile 1-3%
    All walls and ceiling
    Hallway Walls are drywall; ceiling is textured;
    floor is carpet (concrete beneath)
    Ceiling
    Texture Coat
    (2)
    Chrysotile 1-3%
    All walls and ceiling
    Living Room Walls are drywall; ceiling is textured;
    floor is carpet (concrete beneath)
    Ceiling
    Texture Coat
    (3)
    Drywall mud
    (4)
    Chrysotile 1-3%
    Chrysotile 1-3%
    Ceiling
    All walls
    Dining Room Walls are drywall; ceiling is textured;
    floor is carpet (concrete beneath)
    Left Wall
    Drywall Mud
    (5)
    Chrysotile 1-3%
    All walls and ceiling
    Kitchen Walls and ceiling are drywall;
    floor is linoleum
    Right Wall
    Floor
    Drywall Mud (6)
    Linoleum (7)
    None
    None
    None
    Bathroom Walls and ceiling are drywall;
    floor is ceramic tile
    Left Wall
    Drywall Mud (8)
    None
    None
    Right Bedroom Walls are drywall; ceiling is textured;
    floor is carpet (concrete beneath)
    Ceiling
    Texture Coat (9)
    Chrysotile 1-3%
    All walls and ceiling
    Left Bedroom Walls are drywall; ceiling is textured;
    floor is carpet (concrete beneath)
    Rear Wall
    Drywall Mud (10)
    Chrysotile 1-3%
    All walls and ceiling
    Attic Insulation is fibreglass batt with vermiculite beneath
    Left Attic
    Right Attic
    Vermiculite (11)
    Vermiculite (12)
    Vermiculite (13)
    Actinolite 0.7%
    Actinolite 1%
    Actinolite 1%
    Entire attic
    Exterior Exterior is wood; roof is composition shingles; aluminum frame windows
    Roof
    Shingle (14)
    None
    None
    Furnace  
    Ducting
    Tape (15)
    Chrysotile 30%
    All ducting
    Crawl Space Pipe Insulation
    Below kitchen
    Pipe wrapping (16)
    Chrysotile 35%
    All crawl space piping

    Bulk asbestos sample collection
    During the walk-through inspection the surveyor identifies materials suspected to contain any asbestos. To confirm or discount the presence of asbestos, representative bulk samples must be collected. Multi-layered materials, like multiple layers of old tile and linoleum flooring or multiple layers in wall or ceiling materials, will commonly be encountered. Careful consideration must be given to which layers of multi-layered materials to sample. Ideally a sample should be collected from each suspected layer. The surveyor should identify the sample location in the building with a unique sample number.

    The sampling technique and quantity of material sampled are two other important factors to consider. Sufficient quantities of material must be collected. Check the laboratory method for required sample quantities or check with the laboratory analyst. For materials like vermiculite, the surveyor ensures that samples contain the full depth of the material down to the bottom and that the quantity collected is as required by the EPA/600/R-04/004 vermiculite sampling and analytical method. Sample collection methods should minimize disturbance and exposure to the persons collecting the bulk samples. Use of protective clothing is recommended and wearing of a properly fitted approved respirator is required. Persons collecting the samples must have a written sample collection procedure as part of their asbestos Exposure Control Plan. (Refer to sections 6.3 and 5.54 of the Regulation for Exposure Control Plan requirements.) A Respiratory Protection Program is also required. (Refer to section 8.5 and sections 8.32 through 8.44 Regulation and the associated OHS Guidelines.)

    The number of representative bulk samples collected should be consistent with recognized industry standards and principles of good occupational hygiene practice (three examples of recognized industry standards are referred to earlier in this OHS Guideline under "Inspection for and identification of any asbestos"). For a two-storey 1960's–1970's house that has asbestos in both the drywall joint compound and the textured ceilings, vermiculite attic insulation, asbestos-containing linoleum and vinyl tile floorings, and furnace duct tape, collection of a total of 18 to 25 bulk samples would be considered as reasonable to ensure representative sampling and principles of good occupational hygiene practice have been met and that a thorough asbestos survey has been performed. The professional judgment of a qualified person can be used to reduce the number of bulk samples for homogeneous materials. For example, for the upper level of a home with visually similar plaster and where the history of the home is known (e.g., no significant renovations), 1–2 samples may be sufficient for representative sampling of the upper level walls.

    Table 2 provides guidance on the minimum number of bulk samples that should be collected to identify any asbestos that might be present in a residential, industrial, or commercial building prior to demolition, renovation, or salvage.

    Table 2: Bulk Material Sample Collection Guide

    Type of material Size of area of homogeneous material Minimum number of bulk material samples to be collected*
    Surfacing materials, including textured coatings, drywall mud, plasters, and stucco less than 90 square metres (approx. 1,000 square feet) At least 3 samples of each type of surfacing material
    between 90 square metres and 450 square metres (approx. 5,000 square feet) At least 5 samples of each type of surfacing material
    greater than 450 square metres At least 7 samples of each type of surfacing material
    Sprayed insulation and blown-in insulation, including sprayed fireproofing and vermiculite insulation (including vermiculite insulation within concrete masonry units — CMUs) less than 90 square metres (approx. 1,000 square feet) At least 3 samples
    between 90 square metres and 450 square metres (approx. 5,000 square feet) At least 5 samples
    greater than 450 square metres At least 7 samples
    Flooring, including vinyl sheet flooring (and backing) and floor tiles Any size At least 1 sample per flooring type in each room (and 1 from each layer of flooring)
    Mechanical insulation, including duct taping, pipe insulation, elbows, and boiler/tank insulation Any size At least 3 samples per house or mechanical or boiler room
    Mastics and puttys, including duct mastic (around penetrations) and window putty Any size At least 3 samples per house or mechanical or boiler room
    Roofing materials, including felting and shingles less than 90 square metres (approx. 1,000 square feet) At least 1 sample (each layer of material must be sampled)
    between 90 square metres and 450 square metres (approx. 5,000 square feet) At least 2 samples (each layer of material must be sampled)
    greater than 450 square metres At least 3 samples (each layer of material must be sampled)
    Asbestos cement (transite) board and pipe Any size At least 1 sample
    Other materials Any size At least 1 sample per type of material

    * If the material is assumed to contain asbestos then samples do not have to be collected. The professional judgment of a qualified person can be used to reduce the number of bulk samples of homogeneous materials. If fewer samples than the minimum recommended number are collected, the surveyor should document the rationale for his/her position in the survey report.

    Sample analysis
    Asbestos bulk samples should be analyzed by an accredited asbestos laboratory (if the laboratory is not accredited, it must be a participant in a quality control program). Methods accepted by WorkSafeBC for bulk sample analysis are specified in section 6.1 of the Regulation. These methods include requirements for laboratory equipment, calibration, quality control, and result reporting. Refer also to the online WorkSafeBC publication Safe Work Practices for Asbestos Laboratories.

    WCB Method 0205 for asbestos bulk sample analysis is no longer an acceptable method since it does not provide sufficient specificity of quantitation at low levels of asbestos.

    Risk assessment for the abatement of identified asbestos
    When the presence of asbestos is either confirmed through bulk sample analysis or a material is assumed to contain asbestos (e.g., asbestos furnace duct tape, asbestos cement transite board, or asbestos exterior shingles, etc.), a risk assessment must be performed before demolition, renovation, or salvage work begins to determine the exposure risk to workers and other persons. The risk assessment, which must be conducted by a qualified person with education, training, and experience in the management and control of asbestos hazards, helps provide the scope of work for the abatement of asbestos. Refer to Responsibilities section earlier in this guideline and to section 6.6 of the Regulation and OHS Guidelines G6.6-1 Risk Assessment to G6.6-2 Classification of risk.

    Inspection reports must be "available at the worksite"
    The surveyor should meet on-site with the asbestos abatement contractor prior to commencement of abatement activity in order to explain the inspection results from the survey. This will help ensure that the contractor's workers adequately understand the areas where asbestos is present and what has to be removed.

    As per section 20.112(4) of the Regulation, a copy of the inspection reports must be available at the site whenever workers are present. The site documentation must include the inspection reports from the survey and any drawings, plans, or specifications that show the locations of any asbestos. Workers must have the information about the asbestos hazards on hand to use as a reference in planning their work and to avoid exposure to asbestos materials.

    As per section 20.112(8) of the Regulation, having the inspection reports available at the worksite includes confirmation by the qualified person that the asbestos materials specified for removal were safely contained or removed. A document such as a post-asbestos abatement inspection report, that confirms that an inspection was conducted to verify the safe removal of identified asbestos, is acceptable for this purpose.

    Safe removal of asbestos
    All asbestos specified for removal must be removed using safe work practices and procedures before demolition occurs. The WorkSafeBC publication Safe Work Practices for Handling Asbestos and OHS Guideline G6.8 describe acceptable practices. Workers and other persons must not be exposed to asbestos during the demolition, renovation, or salvage of a building or structure. The asbestos removal practices and procedures must minimize the release of airborne asbestos fibres and must be in compliance with all applicable asbestos requirements in Part 6 of the Regulation.

    Asbestos encountered during demolition, renovation, or salvage
    Sections 20.112(6) and (7) of the Regulation describe requirements when hazardous material not previously determined to be hazardous is discovered. If any asbestos is encountered during demolition, renovation, or salvage, such as in walls or some other concealed space or location that was missed during the pre-abatement inspection process, work must cease until the actions required by this section are completed i.e., sample collection and identification, determination of the locations of the materials, and subsequent implementation of the required control measures (usually removal of the asbestos). This means that the demolition, renovation, or salvage workers need some basic awareness and skill in recognition of materials likely to contain asbestos. Having the ability to recognize building materials and products that may contain asbestos is part of the training and instruction that demolition, renovation, and salvage employers need to provide to their workers who may be exposed to asbestos (refer to section 6.11 of the Regulation for asbestos training requirements).

    Other requirements
    The BC Building Code and various municipal bylaws also have requirements regarding demolition procedures. The owner or employer should check with the appropriate local authority for further details.

    Ten Steps to Compliance with asbestos abatement requirements for a pre-1990 house/building demolition, renovation, or salvage work

    (1) A pre-1990 house/building is to be demolished or renovated.
    (2) The building owner (or owner's representative) or the employer (e.g., builder, demolition contractor) retains a qualified person (usually a consultant) to perform a risk assessment and asbestos survey before conducting work where asbestos may be disturbed.

    (3) The qualified person inspects the house/building, collects representative bulk samples, and has the samples analyzed by a qualified laboratory.

    (4) The qualified person prepares a report that identifies all inspection results (including drawings, plans, or specifications), risk assessment, and scope of work for the abatement of the asbestos.

    (5) The report containing the inspection results is provided to the owner/employer. The inspection report must be available at the worksite whenever workers are on-site.

    (6) The owner or employer retains trained asbestos abatement workers. An NOP with written work procedures is submitted to WorkSafeBC before commencement of asbestos removal work.

    (7) Safe removal and disposal of identified asbestos occurs.

    (8) After the asbestos has been removed, the owner or employer receives written confirmation that the asbestos specified for removal on the NOP has been removed. A copy of the inspection report is on site.

    (9) The owner authorizes demolition, renovation, or salvage of the house/building to proceed. The contractor proceeds with the work following safe work procedures. Copy of inspection and post-abatement reports are onsite.

    (10) If any asbestos is found during demolition, renovation, or salvage, all work is to cease until a risk assessment is done and the asbestos is safely contained or removed. In this case, go back to step 7.
    Disclaimer: The Workers' Compensation Board of B.C. ("WorkSafeBC") publishes the online version Occupational Health and Safety Regulation ("OHS Regulation") in accordance with its mandate under the Workers Compensation Act to provide information and promote public awareness of occupational health and safety matters. The online OHS Regulation is not the official version of the OHS Regulation, which may be purchased from Crown Publications. WorkSafeBC endeavours to update the online OHS Regulation as soon as possible following any legislative amendments. However, WorkSafeBC does not warrant the accuracy or the completeness of the online OHS Regulation, and neither WorkSafeBC nor its board of directors, employees or agents shall be liable to any person for any loss or damage of any nature, whether arising out of negligence or otherwise, arising from the use of the online OHS Regulation. Employers are legally obligated to make a copy of the Workers Compensation Act and the OHS Regulation readily available for review by workers. The circumstances under which WorkSafeBC may consider an employer's providing access to electronic versions of the Act and OHS Regulation to have satisfied this obligation are described in Guideline G-D3-115(2)(f).