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Path 2 submissions will be accepted starting July 1, 2020

by Don Purser | May 20, 2020
Implementation of the Alternate Rules rollout will be staggered. The in-force date for Alternate Rules is planned for July 1, 2020. Draft Path 2 Guidelines and other documentation will be available in early June 2020. Path 2 submissions will be accepted starting July 1, 2020. Path 1 will be available to plants in October 2020. Revised certification requirements for Operating Engineers come into force in January 2021.

IPE Ontario wrote to the Honorable Lisa M. Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services asking the TSSA to delay the public consultation (actually it amounted to a weakly written survey) concerning the Alternate Rules, Path 1 and Path 2, because most of the Power Engineers in Ontario were distracted with the global pandemic that is still happening. 

The TSSA is now pushing through their Alternate Rules and especially Path 2 despite objection from their own OE Advisory Council.  The OEAC had been working diligently with the TSSA to modernize the Act and Regulation.  The Council after seeing that the TSSA had decided to move forward with Path 2 strongly recommended not to follow that course of action.   The OEAC felt that the TSSA’s focus should be on Path 1 with changes to try and meet all concerns while preserving public safety.  The TSSA policy writers ignored the Council’s proposals and is currently steam rolling its way to deregulation and self-regulation by industry. 

The Ontario Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk noted many concerns with TSSA in her last report.  A report which also contains promises from the TSSA CEO Bonnie Rose, which now seem to be blatantly false.  The TSSA CEO recently stated that Ontario will only use Path 2 in the coming years.  This is not what we and the TSSA Operating Engineers Advisory Council (OEAC) were told initially.  The Auditor general reported, “We found, however, that the Ministry has not ensured that the TSSA is actually accomplishing its mandate…..we found cases where the TSSA has focused on areas where it can recover its costs even though its activities have little effect on public safety….We also found that the TSSA’s own current oversight processes are not fully effective in ensuring public safety……some of the information that the TSSA reports to the public and the provincial government is inaccurate……”

How can they say that they will continue with inspections and oversight when they're laying off OE Inspectors?

Unfortunately, the TSSA is moving under the direction of the current Progressive Conservative government and several lobby groups; to a business model that throws safety out the window. Opening Ontario for business should not come at such a high cost as to jeopardize the safety of Ontario citizens and general public. 

 We know that these lobbyists want to reduce costs and increase profitability.  In doing this they are putting OE lives and health and safety of the general public at an unnecessary risk.  To quote the Path 2 Guide, “The authors have determined that individual worker risk from process safety risk hazards shall not exceed 10-4 per year.”  They are of the opinion that plants must lower the bar on safety, as low as reasonably possible to improve the bottom line for some industry in the province of Ontario.  Apparently running a safe operation is too costly and is negatively affecting the bottom line.

The only way a Risk Management System can actually work is having it developed and approved by a trained Power Engineer who knows the risks in their own plant.

The TSSA and the IPE should work together with all the stakeholders and develop an agreed Path 1 within the framework of the current regulation.

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