The primary responsibility of provincial and local governments is to protect the health and safety of the community, its natural resources, and of course, its people. Provincial and municipal safety codes are one of the mechanisms for assuming this responsibility. Safety codes affect business and private decision-making that encompasses an array of areas: building, fire, plumbing, gas, and even the operation of ski lifts and zip lines.
Compliance with existing safety code requirements is a necessary part of doing business in Alberta or even just living in the area. These safety codes incorporate a balanced understanding of the science needed to create safer environments and the demand for economic growth. That balance is sometimes off-kilter. The skilled and savvy safety code lawyers at Bulwark Law are here to represent you if you are facing a safety code violation and to defend your actions at any administrative or judicial proceeding rigorously. When necessary, we will challenge the viability and science behind safety codes when such justifications do not support the imposition of burdensome regulation.
What Is the Safety Code in Calgary?
In Alberta, safety codes govern in ten separate areas and are intended, like all bylaws, to enhance the health and safety of the community.
- Amusement rides
- Passenger ropeways, such as ski lifts and ziplines
- Pressure equipment
- Private sewage disposal systems
These regulations are further amplified by municipal safety codes. Once again, these regulations must be followed to operate a business or even reside in an area. Safety codes can involve land use, nuisance and maintenance of unsightly premises, animal control, noise, and traffic control.
What Are the Consequences of a Safety Code Violation?
The Provincial and municipal safety codes include administrative procedures and penalties for non-compliance by the subject. Added cost, delay, and even cease and desist orders can result from a safety code violation. Because these codes are detailed and highly technical, hiring a knowledgeable and savvy safety code lawyer is essential if you face a violation.
An administrator has the authority to issue a penalty for violation of a safety code provision, to issue an order issued under the Safety Codes Act, or place a condition in a permit, certificate, or variance of the Act. These penalties are in addition to any judicially sanctioned penalties resulting from a full-blown prosecution. Administrative penalties can be as much as $10,000 a day for noncompliance, with $100,000 being the statutory maximum. Various factors are considered when determining an administrative penalty:
- The severity and extent of the violation
- Risk of harm arising from the violation
- Compliance history
- Degree of negligence or wilful non-compliance
- Economic benefit resulting from non-compliance
The Safety Codes Council can investigate complaints against accredited organizations, safety code officers, permit issuers, and Master Electricians. The Safety Codes Council does not investigate individual contractors or tradespeople, only the organizations authorized to enforce the safety codes. When facing unfair enforcement, a skilled safety code lawyer can shepherd your complaint through the Safety Codes Council to minimize the delay and cost of any unfair enforcement action.
How Can a Safety Code Lawyer Help You?
When facing administrative charges for safety code offences, you want a safety code lawyer who understands the regulatory scheme and all of the players. That includes the Provincial and municipal officials with the authority to enforce bylaws and punish any violation.
Whether facing a business or personal safety offence, a swift resolution will always be in your favour. The viability of a business or the peaceful use of a residence can be destroyed by delays in building and the use of the property. You want your safety code lawyer to find a solution that allows you to move forward with any project quickly and at minimal additional expense.
Contact Bulwark Law Today
The defence of any safety code violation can be handled with professionalism and savvy by Bulwark Law. The viability of your business venture, or full enjoyment of your residence, can depend on the experience and skill of your safety code lawyer. Consider hiring Bulwark Law. Our lawyers are compassionate and skilled, with a reputation for fierce representation with integrity and a full understanding of municipal law and regulations amongst judges and prosecutors in Calgary and throughout Alberta. We listen, investigate, and strategize to get the best results for our clients. We invite you to call 403 678 7360 or complete the contact form to arrange your free initial consultation.