Unsafe Condition, Accident & Fire Reporting

Reporting unsafe conditions, accidents and fires is required under the Safety Codes Act. See Section 59 of the Safety Codes Act and Section 35 of the Pressure Equipment Safety Regulation.

The Administrator in the pressure equipment discipline has issued Information Bulletin IB18-004 to provide compliance guidance respecting the owner’s duty to report unsafe conditions accidents and fires. Information Bulletin IB18-004 provides definitions of unsafe conditions, accidents and fires; and provides clarification on what must be reported, and establishes reporting timelines.

  • Unsafe conditions, accidents or fires involving pressure equipment are to be reported.
  • Please review IB18-004 for details of what to report.
  • If unsure whether an accident should be reported, discuss the situation with an ABSA
    Safety Codes Officer.

As required under the Pressure Equipment Safety Regulation Section 35, the accident scene must not be disturbed (except when it is absolutely necessary to prevent death or injury, or to prevent further property damage) unless approval to do so has been given by an ABSA Safety Codes Officer.

For instance:

  • Do not clean up the area.
  • Do not move any components.
  • Do not attempt to put equipment back into service.
  • Do not operate the equipment.

Initial reporting:

  • Call or email an ABSA office or any ABSA Safety Codes Officer.
  • After hours, for deaths or other serious accidents, call the Edmonton switchboard at (780) 437-9100.

The message will provide after-hours phone numbers for contact.

Further reporting:

  • Please review IB18-004 for details of what to report.

Under the Safety Codes Act, the owner, the person in charge, the chief power engineer, and the power engineer in charge all have a responsibility to report accidents involving pressure equipment.

Many companies have an internal process for accident reporting, where one person makes the report. This is acceptable, provided ABSA is notified of the accident without delay.

Under the Safety Codes Act, “owner” can mean:

  • the owner of the pressure equipment
  • the leaseholder of the pressure equipment
  • the person in charge
  • the person who has care and control of the pressure equipment
  • The person exercising the powers and authority of ownership at that time.

The purpose of accident reporting is to identify the cause of an accident, in order to prevent similar accidents in the future.

Information gathered may be summarized/analyzed for use in:

  • issuing Alerts, Notifications or Directives
  • recommending changes to the Regulations
  • recommending changes to codes and standards

An ABSA Safety Codes Officer has the following authorities under the Safety Codes Act, and May:

  • close all or part of the accident site for 48 hours (or longer if authorized by a
    Justice)
  • prohibit any person from entering the site for safety reasons or to preserve evidence
  • be accompanied by any person for assistance
  • inspect and photograph any thing
  • require any person to make full disclosure
  • require closure or disconnection of any thing
  • require to be performed any tests or evaluations
  • remove evidence
  • Require production of documents.

For more information on the powers of the ABSA Safety Codes Officer, see Sections 34, 35, and 48 of the Alberta Safety Codes Act.

If an accident involving pressure equipment results in fire, injury, or death, more than one jurisdictional body will usually be involved (e.g., ABSA, Fire Commissioners Office, Workplace Health & Safety (WHS), Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), Alberta Environment). Generally, one of the jurisdictional bodies will have the lead responsibility for the investigation. During the investigation, the pressure equipment owner or person in charge will communicate with the person who leads the investigation and confirm further actions with an ABSA Safety Codes Officer before disturbing the pressure equipment.

Last Modified: 8/9/2019 3:53:41 PM