June 1, 2022
Technical Safety BC released its 2021 State of Safety and Annual Report. The report outlines extreme weather events, a lack of public awareness about carbon monoxide safety, and concerns around continued work by unlicensed individuals as some of the most significant safety challenges facing British Columbians. As the province continues to recover from the impacts of the global pandemic and responds to new and emerging threats such as the impacts of climate change, a continued focus on these critical safety areas will be paramount.
“The State of Safety report highlights that BC must continue to prioritize resiliency and climate action to respond to emerging safety risks in the months and years ahead,” said Phil Gothe, President and Lead Executive Officer, Technical Safety BC. “Last year brought unprecedented challenges for communities across the province, and Technical Safety BC is focused on adapting to the impacts of extreme weather, emerging technologies, and new safety risks.”
This year’s State of Safety Report found that some of the most significant risks to British Columbians and our safety system are the risks emerging from continued climate change impacts in communities across the province. Additionally, as new low-carbon technologies enter the market, such as heat pumps, electric vehicle energy management systems, hydrogen, and new types of refrigerants, the safety system must be responsive and ready with programs designed to assure the continued safety of British Columbians.
“As the climate around us continues to change, Technical Safety BC is working to identify, analyze, and mitigate climate-related risks to technical safety,” added Gothe. “Over 2021, some of those activities included collaborating with our clients and partners to adapt hazard reporting processes for flood-affected communities to expedite recovery and rebuilding efforts, as well as developing new strategies to respond to high-risk heat-related hazards.”
The report also profiles other key initiatives from the past year, including raising awareness around the risks associated with carbon monoxide (CO) exposure. A 2021 survey found that 49% of households in BC still do not have a carbon monoxide detector, so Technical Safety BC continues to provide critical education and awareness on this important area of safety.
In 2021, Technical Safety BC released the Carrier Gas Furnace Report following a comprehensive investigation into certain gas-burning furnaces manufactured between 1989-and 2011 by the Carrier Corporation. This investigation was prompted by the hospitalization of several people from carbon monoxide exposure. Since the report was released, Technical Safety BC’s Incident Investigation team has been notified of 17 additional confirmed failures with these furnaces with the same type of heat exchanger, helping prevent further incidents of CO exposure.
Additional highlights from the State of Safety and Annual Report include:
- A 15% increase in installation permits, including an 18% increase in electrical permits, signalling a year of recovery and strong growth for British Columbia.
- In total, 98,888 electrical permits were issued (87,042 installation permits and 11,846 operating permits).
- Technical Safety BC issued 71,219 gas permits (69,641 installation permits and 1,578 operating permits).
- The number of inspections carried out in British Columbia increased from 45,121 in 2020 to 51,968 in 2021, with a total pass rate of 83%.
- Of those assessments, 28,018 were conducted remotely, and 23,950 were conducted in person.
- New leadership at Technical Safety BC with Phil Gothe appointed President and Lead Executive Officer.
The fully digital report provides a variety of interactive charts that invite users to explore the data that has been shared, as well as links to stories that showcase the work Technical Safety BC has done over the last year to improve safety in British Columbia.
The 2021 Annual Report can be viewed here: https://www.technicalsafetybc.ca/annual-reports/annual-report-2021
The full State of Safety 2021 report can be viewed here: https://www.technicalsafetybc.ca/state-of-safety-2021