Public and worker health and safety

The health and safety of the public and all workers on the land base is paramount. Engagement, participation and dialogue between all concerned parties are key to preventing injury and illness.

When contracting firms to undertake work on the land base, natural resource sector agencies may have certain safety obligations. Ensuring firms that are hired can competently address hazards and provide for the safety of their employees is of interest to all parties.

In certain instances, eligibility for contracts may be dependent on firms meeting specific safety standards as specified in the tender or contract conditions. Examples may include the required use of qualified persons or the expectation that the firm is certified to specified standards – such as the Safety Accord Forest Enterprise Certification Standard (SAFE certification).

SAFE certification for companies and contractors

SAFE certification is a safety initiative developed by the B.C. forest sector and administered by the BC Forest Safety Council. It uses industry recognized audit protocols to evaluate a company’s current safety programs and improve safety culture.

BC Timber Sales, a branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, has required SAFE certification of its contractors since January 2009. As of April 1, 2017, SAFE certification will be applied consistently as an eligibility requirement for contracts in higher-risk business areas throughout the ministry. Certification or other requirements may also be adopted by other areas of government in the future.

Interested contractors should familiarize themselves with the following SAFE Certification Policy and companion appendices, which provide more detail regarding how projects and contracts are impacted by this expectation and what exceptions may apply.