An awareness campaign by the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is aiming to educate independent construction operators about upcoming changes to insurance coverage for Ontario construction workers.
Construction employers are currently required to have WSIB coverage for their employees. Now, most independent operators, small businesses and executive officers in a corporation working in construction will also need to begin paying WSIB premiums starting Jan. 1, 2013. Executive officers and partners whose businesses are already registered with the WSIB also must begin to report their own earnings and pay premiums.
Exemptions are available for home renovators exclusively working in the field of renovation that are contracted directly with the individual living in the residence under construction. Businesses are also permitted to choose one executive officer or partner to apply for an exemption from coverage. The executive or partner must not perform any construction work on the project.
Until the changes take place, the WSIB is encouraging independent construction operators to educate themselves on the required coverage by visiting www.BeRegisteredBeReady.
About 90,000 independent operators who have previously never had to pay into WSIB will be affected by the legislation changes.
Pre-registration will run from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, before the changes become mandatory in the new year.