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Can I hire a Contractor Without WSIB?

Can I hire a Contractor Without WSIB?  The short answer is yes… but why would you want to?  To better understand what I mean, keep reading, there are a few very important things you should know before you consider hiring someone without WSIB.

Worker Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) formally known as Workers Compensation Board (WCB) is a type of No Fault insurance.  When a worker is covered by WSIB they give up the right to sue the Owner, Constructor, or any other party.

1. If you hire a contractor that does not have WSIB (or even if he does but he doesn’t give you a clearance certificate)  You may be responsible for making the WSIB payments on the contractors behalf.

2. If someone gets hurt on the site and they are not covered by WSIB. You can become liable.  They can sue the owner, contractor who hired them.

I’ve written about this before here: Steven Silva’s Required Construction Documents Part 2: WSIB Clearance Certificate.  There are a few documents that you should be asking for before hiring a contractor.  Click here for them and why.

You may also find this publication put out by the WSIB useful.

4 responses to “Can I hire a Contractor Without WSIB?

  1. Toronto 416er April 20, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    Don’t forget to click the Construction tab at the top to see what other Documents you should be asking for when Hiring a Sub-Contractor.

  2. Toronto 416er May 12, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    I was asked what happens if a employee gets hurt but the company is WSIB exempt. What happens?

    It is possible to get become WSIB exempt BUT you cannot have any employees. If you hire a worker, then that worker MUST be covered by WSIB and the company can no longer be exempt. What happens is the WSIB get involved, Ministry of Labour can get involved, fines can be levied, companies may get audited by WSIB and charge the business owner for the monies they should have received plus late penalties.

    An employee is ALWAYS covered by WSIB regardless of who pays for it later.

  3. Jason July 13, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    you hire a haulage broker to supply you with trucks for your job, you have a form 1000 from the broker. Do you also need one from each different owner / operator who comes on site?

    • Steven Silva July 13, 2010 at 5:49 PM

      I am a big fan of Contractor New Job Packages. In that package, there should be a copy of the form 1000 of the Contractor and their sub-trades (which would include the individual trucks in your case). This type of paperwork separate the Pros from the not so Professional. The owner / GC is responsible for anyone who comes to site including any sub-trades. I have had the Ministry of Labour come first into my trailer and ask me for the information on a specific person before approaching them. What would you do in that situation? So Technically I will say yes but do most people do it… probably not.
      Most contractors that I have dealt with don’t have all the information technically required. The main reason for this is most General Contractors simply don’t ask for it. In my reality, I get as much information as I can. If it is not 100% I need to decide risk vs effort. Is it reasonable if the excavator needs a few additional trucks to haul away my dirt and hires a few extra trucks for him to send me their Form 1000 first (assuming it wasn’t already in their Package)?
      My Short answer is: Yes if it is the same guys that always show up otherwise I personally wouldn’t bother BUT I would want a waiver stating that all their trucks are covered by WSIB and not WSIB exempt.
      Hope this helps!

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