Most homeowners are not aware of this BC law.
WorkSafeBC legislation places responsibility on you, the property owner, to be sure everyone working on your property is registered with WorkSafeBC, and that their insurance premiums are paid in full.
Of course, that includes your roofing contractors. If a roofing contractor that is not insured with WorkSafeBC is injured while working on your roof or property, you the homeowner may be liable for that contractor’s injuries.
A Prominent BC Politician Was Liable for a Roofer’s Injuries
In 2012, former Premier Gordon Campbell was ruled to be legally responsible for the death of a worker who fell through an open skylight the year before at his vacation home. That worker was not registered with WorkSafeBC.
Roofing is a particularly dangerous profession and consequently has the highest insurance rates in the home construction field. Some fly-by-night or financially unsound roofing companies may not have insurance coverage for this very reason or may be delinquent in their payments, making the homeowner liable for their premiums if a worker were to get hurt on the job.
Incidentally, not having insurance coverage is also an indication that the roofing company may not be able to back up its warranty.
Check and Double Check
Don’t accept a contractor’s word that they are covered. Get the company’s WorkSafeBC number and check it out online or by phone. To protect yourself as the homeowner, get a clearance letter from WorkSafeBC for the company doing the work. The clearance letter states if they are good standing and indicates the date of their coverage. If that date does not cover the time that your project will require, you are not covered.
You can get a clearance letter online at www.worksafebc.com. Under the “Insurance” sub-heading, click “Get a Clearance Letter”.
The Roofer Must Have Liability Insurance
Also check that your roofer has proper, up-to-date liability insurance that will cover water, fire, or other damage caused to your property during a job.
Many roofers don’t bother with this insurance because prices have increased and it’s more difficult to qualify. As well, some roofing companies are only insured for sloped shingle roofs, not for “Hot Work” which is needed on flat roofs.
If you are re-roofing or repairing a flat roof, be sure to get a copy of the roofing company’s liability insurance and check that they are insured for “Open Flame or Hot Work”.
Forewarned is Forearmed
Information is readily at hand. Contact WorkSafeBC to learn more about your responsibilities as a home owner. Visit their website at www.worksafebc.com or call toll free 1-888-621-7233.
As a renovator Doug did many rot repairs which gave him a good understanding of where and why buildings leak, and how to prevent it. He realized the need for a different approach to roofing; one that educated the customer enough to make good decisions. With better trained installers and a quality inspection process Absolute Roof Solutions was born…” Read more.
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