Am I liable for accidents that occur during the remodeling project?
In most cases, no. Professional remodelers and their subcontractors carry liability and workers’ compensation insurance against job site accidents. In addition, remodelers are regulated by the federal and provincial Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA), as well as their insurers, to maintain a safe workplace, eliminate hazards, and train our workers in safe work habits and emergency response.
Where you will run into trouble is when you hire a remodeling contractor that does not have the appropriate insurance or does not hire sub-contractors (plumbers, electricians) that do not have it either.
If you pay a remodeler in cash (letting him work on your home under the table) because they don’t want to pay taxes then this can be a red flag that they are not covered with insurance or WSIB. This means that if there is an accident at your sight then you might be considered the general contractor, if you are considered in charge then there is a chance that you could be liable for an accident at your home.
You as the homeowner who is either living in the home during the renovation or visiting the home during the renovation must take the time to learn the safety procedures of your remodeling contractor, you as the homeowner is potentially the largest risk to the safety of the site. Because you have no safety training or any safety equipment you are more likely to hurt yourself visiting the site then the workers that are there.
Please follow your remodeler’s safety guidelines and procedures during construction at all times.
Village Builders Inc.