WHEREAS the Alberta Building Code does not apply to farm buildings that are used for the storage of materials or produce directly associated with the operation of the farm;AND WHEREAS the Occupational Health and Safety Act specifies that the farming and ranching operations that are excluded from the definition of “occupation” are those operations that are directly or indirectly involved in activities such as production of crops, including fruits and vegetables, through the cultivation of land;AND WHEREAS the definition of farm buildings in the Alberta Building Code is unclear;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Minister of Municipal Affairs to clarify the definition for farm buildings.
In support of this resolution, we are quoting excerpts from the following:Alberta Regulation 27/95Occupational Health and Safety ActFARMING AND RANCHING EXEMPTION REGULATIONFiled: February 15, 1995Made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (O.C. 74/95) pursuant to Section 31 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.Purpose 1. This Regulation is made for the purpose of Section 1(g) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to specify the farming and ranching operations that are excluded from the definition of “occupation” under the Act.Excluded 2. The farming and ranching operations that are excluded are the Exemption operations that are directly or indirectly involved in the following:(a) the production of crops, including fruits and vegetables, through the cultivation of land;(b) the raising and maintenance of animals or birds; and(c) the keeping of bees.Information Bulletin STANDATAJanuary 1999 97-IB-009THE APPLICATION OF THE ALBERTA BUILDING CODETO BUILDINGS LOCATED ON FARMSThe Alberta Building Code does not apply to farm buildings. However, all buildings which are located on farms are not necessarily “farm buildings”. This Information Bulletin is intended to clarify which buildings located on farms are governed by the Alberta Building Code (ABC) and which are not.A. Farm Building Exempt from the Alberta Building CodeClause 188.8.131.52. (4) (a) of the ABC describes a (farm) building which is exempt from the Code as being one which:1. Is used for housing livestock or poultry, milking centres, farm workshops.2. May be considered as having “low human occupancy” meaning that it is only used by the farmer, his immediate family, and employees. The National Farm Building Code of Canada can be used for the determination of “low human occupancy” when the criteria in the previous sentence is also applied (see also Item B.3.c).3. Is used for the storage or maintenance of farm equipment or machinery used directly in the operation of the farm.4. Is used for the storage of materials or produce directly associated with the operation of the farm such as seed, hay, fertilizer and so on.5. Is located on land used as a farm.If the building meets these criteria, it may be considered a farm building and the Alberta Building Code 1997 does not apply to it. The National Farm Building Code of Canada may be used as a guide to good design and construction for farm buildings but it is not a mandatory code in Alberta. Design criteria for some aspects of farm buildings, like grain, silage, and livestock loads are not readily available from sources other than the National Farm Building Code of Canada.A. Buildings Not Exempt from the Alberta Building CodeA building located on a farm must meet the requirements of the Alberta Building Code if one or more of the following criteria apply:1. The building is used as an abattoir, a meat processing plant, or a dairy manufacturing plant (dairy manufacturing plant is a defined term).2. If persons other than the farmer, his immediate family, and/or employees will be occupants of the building as a matter of course during the day to day operation of the farm.3. The building is used for something other than the storage of the farmers equipment, materials or produce. For example, if the building is used:a. as a dwelling unit,b. for a commercial or industrial activity (i.e. repair or welding shops for the generation of income),c. as a riding area (when these structures are used by persons living off the farm and when they may be used for occasional calf roping and penning events), ord. as a greenhouse to which people other than the farmers immediate family or employees could be expected.4. The building is not located on land used for farming.If one or more of these criteria fit, the building is not considered a farm building and the provisions of the Alberta Building Code will apply.There will be few structures that do not fit clearly into either category A or B, however, the buildings primary use could still be as a farm building located on land used for farming. In these cases, contact a Safety Codes Officer that issues building permits for the Municipality involved. It may be possible for a variance to be issued and the building to be designed and constructed in accordance with the National Farm Building Code of Canada and still meet the intent of the Alberta Building Code.