WHAT IS THE NATIONAL SAFETY CODE?
Some carriers confuse the National Safety Code with Occupational Health and Safety. Indeed; it is true that the two concentrations share similarities; however, Occupational Health and Safety concerns itself with worksite safety and is not effective in ensuring a carrier is also compliant with all transportation safety laws. The two are related, but they are very different concentrations.
So; what is the National Safety Code?
The National Safety Code (NSC) is a set of 16 standards that Canadian Provinces use to ensure transportation safety, which is applicable to all Commercial Carriers.
Put in place to eliminate unsafe operating practices; the NSC covers areas such as the number of hours a person can drive, vehicle maintenance, cargo securement, medical standards for drivers and trip inspections.
Because criteria are not based upon the type of work a Company is engaged in; it is possible to be considered a “Commercial Carrier” under NSC regulations, even if your business is not one that is primarily engaged in transportation.
For example; private transit companies (e.g. Bus Companies) or even businesses offering daycare services could still be classed as Commercial Carriers if they use vehicles that meet NSC weight/passenger criteria.
Some Provinces (Alberta & Saskatchewan) have Provincial Regulations as well as Federal Regulations. The regulations that the Carrier follows is dependent upon the nature of their business and whether they operate commercial vehicles within their Province or travel outside of Province.
A carrier may not hold two different operating statuses. For example, a Carrier who operates under a Federal Operating Status but only has one NSC vehicle that leaves the Province occasionally still has to run their entire fleet under the Federal Status.
How does this apply to your Business?
As mentioned; NSC criteria are not based upon the nature of your business, but on the weight of vehicles you operate, or the number of passengers you transport.
Compliance with the NSC is governed by Alberta Transportation Carrier Services (SGI in Saskatchewan) and in order to maintain your Safety Fitness Certificate, compliance with the NSC is mandatory.