Code Review Committee
The Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia (Code) provides the detailed regulation for all aspects of mining and mineral exploration in B.C.
The Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation appointed a standing Code Review Committee (Committee) in 2019 with equal representation from Indigenous communities, labour and industry. A standing review of the Code ensures B.C. has strong, updated protections for health, safety and the environment at mine sites.
The Committee will recommend revisions to the Code on an ongoing basis. The Committee aims to make revisions that enhance worker safety and the protection of the public and environment, and that support the introduction of changing technology.
See a list of the current members here: Code Review Committee Membership (PDF, 171KB)
Latest revisions to the Code
In 2020, the Committee unanimously recommended eight revisions to the Code to improve safety at B.C. mines. The revisions clarify and modernize existing provisions and ensure the Code remains current in relation to changing standards and federal regulations. The majority of these revisions came into force in April 2021, with the exception of the avalanche safety requirements that came into force in July 2021.
The signed Order in Council enacting the recent revisions may be found here: January 25, 2021 Order in Council No. 027.
The revisions involve:
- adding cannabis in the impairment provision to align with federal legalization
- adding in avalanche safety requirements
- adding in gas detection and decommissioning requirements for coal exploration drill sites
- updating Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System requirements
- updating requirements to ensure safety mechanisms are in place for under-truck repairs on haul trucks
- updating provisions related to pressure vessels to ensure they meet current Canadian Standards Association standards
- updating legislation references in the Code for the Public Health Act
- modernizing the requirements for atmospheric detection in underground mines
The Code was also revised in response to the August 2020 Mines Act amendments and introduction of the Chief Permitting Officer. Provisions of the Code related to the permitting process now fall under the Chief Permitting Officer and demonstrate the separation of accountabilities established under the Mines Act. The Chief Inspector of Mines remains accountable for health and safety, and compliance and enforcement functions.
Information on the previous Code Review from 2015 to 2017 can be found here: 2015 to 2017 Code Review.
The Code Review Committee strikes sub-committees and task groups as needed to review priority topics. Sub-committees and task groups provide the technical review and make recommendations for Code revisions to the Code Review Committee.
This sub-committee is currently addressing the use of alternative energy vehicles on mines. This include battery electric vehicles and hybrid electric-diesel vehicles.
Prior to this work, the sub-committee reviewed the use of autonomous and semi-autonomous machine systems on mines.
In response to the Audit of Code Requirements for Tailings Storage Facilities published in June 2021, the Committee formed a Part 10 Sub-committee. This sub-committee is currently reviewing the Code requirements for tailings storage facilities and dams and the Code Guidance Document (PDF, 553KB).
This sub-committee will review all occupational health aspects of the Code.