February 16, 2012
Mike McKenna – executive director of the BC Construction Safety Alliance – gave the thumbs-up to a new app that lets employers and homeowners request clearance letters from WorkSafeBC via smart phone.
“This new app is of real benefit from a construction safety perspective because it allows the purchasers of construction services – like general contractors, business owners undertaking renovations, and residential home owners – to quickly determine if a contractor is registered with WorkSafeBC,” said Mike, whose organization serves more than 35,000 BC construction companies with 180,000+ workers.
“It demonstrates to the purchaser that the contractors’ workers are protected in the event they are injured on the job. For the contractor, it provides an efficient and timely method to demonstrate to potential customers that they are in good standing with WorkSafeBC… Any time this information can be obtained easily is a good thing.”
In the past, employers and home owners requested clearance letters by phone or from a computer, which often meant going back to the office. If employers or home owners hire anyone who’s not registered and in good standing, they could end up liable for insurance premiums owing in connection with their projects.
Onus on home owners
Some homeowners don’t realize they are considered employers in certain situations when they hire people to work in their home, according to WorkSafeBC. This includes workers doing construction and repairs – along with gardeners, landscapers, nannies, companions, personal caregivers, and domestic workers.
“When you hire people to work in or around your home, always ask them whether they carry their own coverage. If they do, ask for their WorkSafeBC account numbers,” reads this information for homeowners at the WorkSafeBC website.
More info about the app’s release is available on the WorkSafeBC website – along with this story from the Canadian Safety Reporter: New mobile app offers quick contractor-liability clearance in BC
Thanks to Mike for sharing his comments on this new service. I’d love to hear about any experiences you’ve had with the new clearance letter service – or anything else that speeds up the “getting started” process.