Are You Legally Responsible for Contractors Safety?

(April 25, 2012 )

That's right, when you hire one or more contractors to do work in your home, you may be liable for compensation in cases of accidental injury or death!

Under current legislation, as a homeowner hiring a contractor, you automatically become the "prime contractor" and therefore financially responsible if a worker is hurt on the job.  Most people just aren't aware of this potentially huge liability.  To protect yourself, you should:
  • Ensure the contractor's company is registered with WorkSafeBC with compensation insurance.
  • In writing, assign the "prime contractor" role to a company.
  • Homeowners can pay insurance premium to ensure workers are covered for the work being done.
Recent newspaper article in the Vancouver Sun highlighted this issue, when a roofer died after falling through the skylight of the former premier Gordon Campbell's vacation home.  Mr Campbell would have been liable for compensation had the worker not been registered with WorkSafeBC.  

If you are unsure, you can check the WorkSafeBC's online registration database to see if a contractor is registered and covered.