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Bill 20, Railway Safety Act

Bill 20, Railway Safety Act received Royal Assent on March 31, 2004. This bill included a consequential amendment to delete section 108(2)(b) in Part 3 of the Workers Compensation Act. This amendment results in the transfer of occupational health and safety jurisdiction for railways from the provincial government to the WCB. This transfer of occupational health and safety jurisdiction came into effect April 1, 2004.

As of April 1, 2004, the WCB has occupational health and safety jurisdiction for short-line railways, which represent lines that feed into the federally controlled railways, along with industrial and recreational railways. This includes two common carriers (Southern and E&N), approximately 45 industrial rail sites (e.g., Cominco in Trail), more than a dozen tourist railways, and SkyTrain.

The provincial government retains occupational health and safety jurisdiction for BC Rail, pending completion of the Investment Partnership with CN. Following which, the jurisdiction for occupational health and safety for BC Rail will lie with the federal government.