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Issued August 1, 1999; Editorial Revision October 14, 2004; Editorial Revision January 1, 2009
Section 1.1 of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") states, in part:
"professional engineer" means a person who is registered or licensed to practice engineering under the provisions of the Engineers and Geoscientists Act.
Purpose of guideline
The purpose of this guideline is to provide additional information about WorkSafeBC's practices for engineering certificates.
WorkSafeBC prevention officers will treat as unacceptable any engineering certificate, approval, or design that does not comply with the regulations or an order or direction of WorkSafeBC, or a variance granted by WorkSafeBC.
The situation may arise where there appears to be compliance with the Regulation, or with a variance granted by WorkSafeBC, but a prevention officer feels the engineering is inadequate and could endanger a worker. In such cases, the prevention officer will not reject the engineering certification, approval, or design without authorization from his or her manager, and upon the recommendation of an engineer from the Engineering Section of WorkSafeBC.
The Engineering Section should be contacted for assistance in reviewing unclear, vague, and generally unprofessional engineering documents left on job sites for the purpose of compliance with the Regulation. The Engineering Section may initiate a formal complaint to the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC). Each potential complaint will be assessed on an individual basis. Before a complaint is made, a member of the Engineering Section will review the letter and attachments for each complaint. The reviewer will be an engineer who has had no direct dealings with the person named in the complaint on the matter at issue. The reviewer will comment on the content, completeness, and apparent reasonableness of the complaint.
As an engineer is generally working in and contributing to the production of an industry, a prevention officer may write orders on the engineer, and his or her firm, if the documents provided are inadequate and/or do not meet the requirements of the Regulation. See also OHS Guideline G20.78 regarding qualified registered professional's certificates, which may include an engineer's certificate for excavations.
Issued November 29, 2012
Section 1.1(1) of the OHS Regulation ("Regulation") includes the following definition:
"resource road" means a road or portion of a road on Crown land, and includes a bridge, culvert, ford or other structure or work associated with the road, but does not include a highway within the meaning of the Transportation Act,
Sections 1.1(2) - (4) of the Regulation state:
(2) Subject to subsection (3), in this Regulation, "workplace" does not include a resource road.
(3) A portion of a resource road is a workplace during any period within which the portion is being built, maintained, repaired, rehabilitated, stabilized, upgraded, removed or deactivated.
(4) Although a resource road does not constitute a workplace for the purposes of this Regulation, other than in one of the limited circumstances referred to in subsection (3), a reference to a workplace in this Regulation continues to include a thing or place that constitutes a workplace even though that thing, or an activity or the result of an activity initiated or carried out at that place, is in whole or in part on a resource road.
Purpose of guideline
This guideline is intended to set out the circumstances under which a resource road is a workplace for the purposes of the Regulation.
Resource roads - what are they?
Resource roads are defined for the purposes of the Regulation as follows:
a road or portion of a road on Crown land, and includes a bridge, culvert, ford or other structure or work associated with the road, but does not include a highway within the meaning of the Transportation Act;
Many industrial activities, in particular the development, management, and transportation of natural resources, are accessed through the use of resource roads. Resource roads are non-highway roads on Crown land constructed and maintained under a variety of legislation. These roads include forest service roads, forest roads, petroleum development roads, mineral exploration roads, and some industrial roads. Private roads are not considered resource roads.
Resource road not a workplace
Section 1.1(2) states that, except in specific circumstances, a resource road is not a "workplace" for the purposes of the Regulation. The intent of this section is to clarify that resource roads are not to be treated as single workplaces giving rise to the obligations of a prime contractor or owner under sections 118 and 119 of the Workers Compensation Act ("Act "), and sections 26.1.1 (Prime contractor requirements for forestry operations) and 26.1.2 (Multiple-employer workplace) of the Regulation. That is, the activities of employers, workers, and others over the entire area of a resource road need not be coordinated by a prime contractor, nor does a prime contractor have to be designated to establish and maintain a system or process that will ensure compliance with Part 3 of the Act and the Regulation for activities occurring over the entire road. Similarly, the requirements in sections 26.1.1 and 26.1.2 of the Regulation relating to coordination of multiple-employer workplaces in forestry operations will not apply with respect to resource roads.
In addition, requirements that would otherwise relate to resource roads as a "workplace" will not apply. These requirements include a number of sections in part 26 relating to roads and road maintenance, notably sections 26.79, 26.81, 26.82, 26.83, as well as more general obligations relating to the workplace.
As noted above, while resource roads on Crown lands are not "workplaces," private roads that are used for an industrial purpose continue to be considered "workplaces." An example of private roads would be roads used to access private managed forest land.
While section 1.1(1) exempts resource roads from the definition of workplace for the purposes of the Regulation, this exemption is not relevant to determining whether an injury, fatality, or illness incurred on a resource road or in connection to an activity on a resource road gives rise to a claim for compensation.
Portion of resource road as a workplace
Section 1.1(3) states that a portion of a resource road is a workplace during any period within which that portion is being built, maintained, repaired, rehabilitated, stabilized, upgraded, removed or deactivated. Where resource roads contain these smaller construction and maintenance workplaces, all relevant obligations in the Act and Regulation will apply to that workplace and any workplace party connected with the work. For clarity, these smaller construction or maintenance workplaces may give rise to the prime contractor obligations in section 118 of the Act with respect to that specific workplace, provided there are workers of more than one employer present. The prime contractor obligations will apply only to the smaller multiple-employer workplace within the resource road where the activities described in section 1.1(3) are taking place. In addition, section 26.80 of the Regulation, which states road construction must be carried out in a manner that does not create hazards from hung up or broken trees or limbs, will also apply.
Workplaces on a resource road
In addition to the exception in section 1.1(3), section 1.1(4) confirms that there may also be other work activities or workplaces that happen to occur on resource roads, but which do not render the whole resource road a workplace.
The primary example of this type of work is the normal work related to the use of the resource road itself. The definition of "workplace" in section 106 of the Act includes in part, any "vessel, vehicle or mobile equipment used by a worker in work. " Accordingly, though an entire resource road is not a single workplace, employers and workers who are travelling the road (e.g., accessing workplaces, or engaging in hauling goods or equipment, etc.) or engaging in work activities relating to travel on the road (e.g., performing vehicle maintenance, securing loads, etc.) in the course of their work will be subject to the requirements of the Act and the Regulation to carry out that work safely.
Other workplaces covered by section 1.1(4) include work that is undertaken on or near the resource road that incidentally occurs on or intersects with the resource road. This could include, for example, forestry yarding operations that use a resource road or a landing, and construction of works unrelated to the resource road, like buildings, hydro lines, or sewers and similar activities. As with the exception in section 1.1(3), these smaller workplaces may be multiple-employer workplaces if there are workers of more than one employer present, however the road itself will not be a single workplace.
Obligations relating to the use of resource roads