Proposals to Enhance Propane Safety and Minimize Burden on Business
Bill or Act:
Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000
Summary of Decision:
In October 2014, government approved amendments to Ontario Regulation 211/01 (Propane Storage and Handling). In addition, the minster made a regulation (Ontario Regulation 197/14) to set minimum insurance requirements for propane operators.
Effective January 1, 2015, the following changes came into effect under O.Reg 211/01:
- Risk-based inspection scheduling: Instead of annual inspections, TSSA will schedule periodic inspections based on a facility's risk.
- Record of training: A business can designate the appropriate senior management person to hold the required record of training. The senior management person must be responsible for oversight of the business's propane operations.
- Amendments to the Level 1 Risk and Safety Management Plan (RSMP): The TSSA's Director of Fuels can now amend the Level 1 RSMP information requirements, provided that the RSMP continues to contain the components required by the regulation.
In addition, under O.Reg. 197/14, as of January 1, 2016, certain propane operators will be required to carry a minimum amount of commercial general liability insurance in order to be licensed. The minimum amounts are set at $1 million for facilities requiring a Level 1 RSMP and $5 million for facilities requiring a Level 2 RSMP.
Please refer to the Technical Standards and Safety Authority's advisory for details about these changes and how they will be implemented. You can access the advisory on TSSA's website at www.tssa.org.
February 4, 2014
Summary of Proposal:
The first two proposals seek to enhance the safety of propane transfer facilities:
- Moving from Annual Inspections to Risk-Based Inspections
This proposal would remove the requirement for annual inspections of propane transfer facilities to enable TSSA to fully implement its risk-based inspection scheduling model. A risk-based approach leads to a better use of regulatory resources by targeting inspections at facilities that present the greatest risk, thereby enhancing safety.
- Setting Minimum Insurance Requirements as a Condition of Licensing
This proposal would require a minimum level of commercial general liability insurance as a condition of licensing for propane transfer facilities. For small facilities (Level 1), the proposed minimum insurance amount is $2 million per occurrence. For large facilities (Level 2), the proposed minimum insurance amount is $10 million per occurrence. This proposal enhances safety by giving both the insurer and the insured an incentive to work together to minimize safety risks. Please refer to the Appendix for the definitions of Level 1 and Level 2 facilities, and per occurrence limits.
The remaining two proposals seek to minimize burden on business by enabling greater administrative efficiency and simplifying requirements:
- Aligning the Decision Making Authority for Risk and Safety Management Plan Guidelines
This proposal would place the authority for the Level 1 Risk and Safety Management Plan (RSMP) guideline with the Director of Fuels under the Technical Standards and Safety Act (the Director), aligning it with that of the Level 2 guideline. This would enable the Director to update the Level 1 guideline to incorporate enhancements or remove elements which are no longer needed. This authority is consistent with the Director's safety oversight expertise and responsibilities. Please refer to the Appendix for the definition of an RSMP.
- Simplifying the Record of Training Requirement
This proposal would remove administrative burden by simplifying the current regulatory requirement for an officer, director, partner, or the sole proprietor of a business to hold a record of training. The proposal would enable a business to designate, on a form approved by the Director of Fuels, the appropriate senior management person responsible for oversight of their propane operation.
The ministry welcomes your comments and feedback on the proposals.
Public Safety Branch
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
777 Bay St, 5th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 2J3
January 1, 2015