Patient Care Standards - Update

A while back I wrote about small medical clinics and a great deal of inconsistency in applying  standards for patient care wiring. After I wrote that blog I decided to submit a formal inquiry to the Association of Professional Engineers of BC asking for them to raise the issue with the British Columbia Safety Authority and the Building Officials Association of BC.

I now have a response, which I would like to share: 

  • The BC Safety Authority has stated that the Z32 is not an adopted standard and is not enforceable.
  • ·Some authorities having jurisdiction list Z32 as if it were a compulsory requirement but, since it is a voluntary standard, quickly retreat and only record the objection in cases where one is raised by an the owner|developer.
  • Some regulatory bodies will require their health professionals to comply to the Z32 in which case the owner|developer must comply or face the possibility of not being granted an operating license from the regulator.
  • For small-scale renovations, many municipalities do not even issue a building permit and rely solely on the trade(s) to carry out the work in accordance with their ticket(s). In such cases, Z32 is not even mentioned.

My takeaway from this as design professions we have discretion about when to apply this standard. I've decided to deal with this on a case by case basis, and unless there is VIHA oversight or use of medical monitoring devices I will likely give the owner the option to skip some of all of the requirements of that standard.