About the Technical Standards and Safety Authority

This section provides a high-level view of what TSSA is about and what we do.

The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) is a not-for-profit organization that the Government of Ontario has mandated to administer technical safety regulations and provide safety oversight of:

  • Elevating devices such as elevators and escalators
  • Amusement devices such as roller coasters and bouncy castles
  • Ski Lifts such as chair lifts and T-bars
  • Boilers and pressure vessels including piping
  • Fuels such as natural gas, propane and liquid fuels - mainly their storage, distribution and utilization
  • Operating Engineers including attended and unattended plants with pressurized equipment

We’re fortunate to live in a place where we can go about our day knowing the infrastructure around us is extremely safe: the escalator in the shopping mall, the gas pump we fill up at, the systems that heat our schools and hospitals, the ski lifts, the roller coasters. Thanks to the efforts of the many people who supply, service, own, operate and use these complex technologies, we do very well as a province in protecting each other from harm.

But in our view, extremely safe isn’t safe enough and it takes a coordinated effort to get there. As long as there is significant safety concern, we have a job to do: helping to set better standards, partnering with suppliers, owners and operators to equip them to be safe, and assertively addressing situations and enforcing compliance where there is a real risk or evidence of injury.  

We all share the goal of a safer Ontario. We can only make that happen if we work together, in a safety partnership from which we all benefit.

Our purpose

To enhance safety in Ontario through engagement, evidence, enforcement and education.

Our vision

Working together for a safer Ontario today and tomorrow.

Our values

  • Safety: Be safety-focused at all times
  • Collaboration: Work well with others
  • Accountability: Be responsible for our actions and deliver on our commitments
  • Integrity: Conduct ourselves with transparency using risk-informed evidence
  • Inclusion: Leverage diversity through inclusive, respectful leadership
  • Innovation: Be forward-thinking, adaptable and data-driven

What we do

Our activities keep the people in Ontario safe from harm. We do this by:

  • Issuing authorizations for equipment, sites, businesses and workers to maintain an accurate inventory of regulated entities
  • Certifying individuals and registering contractors and operators so they can perform regulated work
  • Overseeing that training institutions correctly train, examine and certify tradespeople
  • Reviewing the design of new technologies, new installations, and changes to existing equipment and plants to make sure they comply with codes and regulations
  • Analyzing data, watching for safety-related trends, evaluating risks and developing standards
  • Performing inspections and incident investigations to prevent and address safety issues
  • Providing education and consumer safety information
  • Working with industry to reduce safety risks by performing assessments, consulting on safety management, supporting compliance, and carrying out enforcement and prosecution
  • Contributing to the development of safety codes and regulations for the industries we regulate
  • Deliver pressure boundary system inspection and engineering services at nuclear facilities in Ontario   

We also provide limited non-regulatory services to other organizations.

The Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery oversees our services and organizational performance and retains authority for the Technical Standards and Safety Act.

Enhancing consumer safety

One way we help protect the safety of the public is by providing education and consumer safety information on these topics:

Who’s involved in the safety system

We strongly believe in our Safety System, in which equipment designers, manufacturers, installers, maintainers, owners, insurers, consumer and the public join with us as partners in the management of public safety risk. We focus our energy where the risk is the greatest and, by working together, help our partners do the same. 

We developed this Safety System concept within the National Public Safety Advisory Committee (NPSAC), a counselling body consisting of regulatory agencies across Canada. Today, working within the system, we can obtain advice and collect information from all of the other participants, and we can support these participants in their own safety activities.

Besides TSSA, the Safety System includes:

  • Industries regulated by TSSA are responsible for equipment:
    • design
    • manufacture
    • installation
    • operation
    • maintenance; and
    • repairs and alterations. 
  • Typical safety hazards that might be associated with industry participants include:
    • defective, inadequate, inappropriate, or failed devices
    • inadequate safety culture or inadequate safety management practices
    • inadequate, inappropriate, or lack of knowledge base or abilities; and
    • inappropriate or inadequate external conditions, such as physical environment, population, utility base, high-risk locations, etc. 
  • Other organizations that play a role in managing public safety are:
    • consultants and advisors to industry and public
    • financial institutions, such as insurers
    • other regulators
    • educators, such as technical training institutes
    • governments at all levels
    • certification and testing organizations
    • standards organizations
    • industry; and
    • media.
  • The public. This segment of the Safety System represents users of products, equipment or services. Membership in this group is diverse: amusement riders, elevator passengers, gas station retailers, users of boilers and pressure vessel equipment, homeowners with natural gas furnaces, buyers of stuffed toys and mattresses. Many incidents that occur can involve user-related factors such as:
    • knowledge base, awareness and/or abilities;
    • inadequate, inappropriate or lack of communication to users on safe equipment usage;
    • failure to follow rules and procedures;
    • negligence or honest mistakes; and
    • special conditions (e.g., health conditions).

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