Resources

Homeowners beware!: you may need WorksafeBC coverage

Attention Homeowners!

When you hire someone to work in your home for your personal or domestic needs, you are considered a residential employer.  You may need to register for WorksafeBC insurance coverage whether you hire the worker on a full-time, part-time or casual basis.

For example if you hire:

  • Nannies, companions, or other personal caregivers
  • Domestic workers such as household cleaners
  • Construction or repair workers or contractors
  • Gardeners or landscapers

You do not need to register if you hire a person:

  • For an average of less than eight working hours per week
  • For a specific job to be completed in less than 24 working hours. In determining how long a job takes, it is the total person-hours for the job that is relevant. For example, if three workers work for nine hours each, WorkSafeBC considers that job to be for a period of 27 hours.
  • To care for children before and after school for an average of less than 15 hours per week
  • Through an agency registered with WorkSafeBC, where you pay the agency directly
  • Who is independently registered with WorkSafeBC

Responsibilities of homeowners

Homeowners and B.C. residents who hire workers cannot be sued for the costs of a work-related injury or disease. If a worker is injured in your home while on the job, WorkSafeBC pays for the worker’s entire medical and wage-loss costs.

In return for this protection, you are expected to:

  • Register with WorkSafeBC
  • Pay employer premiums
  • Provide a safe and healthy work environment

Registration guarantees protection

The law requires WorkSafeBC to compensate injured workers – even when employers have not registered with WorkSafeBC. If a homeowner does not register with WorkSafeBC and pay premiums when required, the results could be costly. WorkSafeBC may charge the homeowner for all compensation costs and unpaid premiums.

Protect yourself – Check the registration status of contractors

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. Double-check their information by requesting a clearance letter  from WorkSafeBC before they begin working for you and before you make a final payment. A clearance letter gives you assurance that you won’t be held responsible for someone else’s payments to WorkSafeBC.

Posted on: January 25th, 2012 by Victoria Comments

Dangers of Silica Dust

Silica Lung

Construction workers vulnerable to silica dust

 

Silicosis is a disease caused by the prolonged breathing of crystalline silica dust. The fine particles are deposited in the lungs, causing thickening and scarring of the lung tissues.  Crystalline silica dust can also cause lung cancer. 

Crystalline silica is found in concrete, masonry, and most rock.  The grinding, blasting, cutting and drilling of concrete and rock produces a fine dust that you do not want to breathe.  When silica dust builds up in your lungs, you are at risk of developing a serious and irreversible lung disease called silicosis.

It may take workers 10 year to develop chronic silicosis, if they are exposed to small amounts of silica dust over a long period of exposure.  However, workers may experience acute silicosis and develop symptoms within a few weeks if they are exposed to small amount of silica dust at a high concentration.

 

Symptoms of silicosis include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe Cough
  • Weakness

These symptoms can worsen over time and lead to death.

Prevention:

Employers must develop a silica exposure control plan.  Click on the following link for a copy of a silica exposure control plan.

http://www2.worksafebc.com/Portals/Construction/HazardousMaterials.asp?ReportID=34096

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on: January 17th, 2012 by Victoria Comments

The role of the supervisor

If you were on tonight’s news because there was an accident on your jobsite, would you be able to stand in front of the cameras and state that you had done everything within your power to prevent this accident from occurring? 

The following video is the best resource that I have seen to explain the importance of due diligence.  The role of the supervisor is critical in workplace safety.  Please watch and comment.

Posted on: January 6th, 2012 by Victoria Comments

Can you spot the hazards?

Can you spot the hazards?
Identify the hazards and post your answers!

How many hazards can you identify in this photo?

Post your answers! 
 
Posted on: January 3rd, 2012 by Victoria Comments

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