Tips for homeowners planning a residential construction or renovation project

May 14, 2018

Are you planning to build your dream home,finish your basement or add a new deck?

As a property owner,you have legal obligations to comply with the OHS Act. 

New Brunswick’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act and its regulations have specific requirements that may affect your project. For example, there are rules for working above three metres, working alone and working with power tools. Workers must have proper protective equipment and first aid must be available on site.

Focus on safety to help keep your project on track.

  • Always hire a contractor who is experienced, reputable and safety-conscious.
  • Ask about experience and training, and for proof of workers’ compensation coverage if there are three or more workers employed at any time during the year.
  • Remember, when the project is underway, your home may be considered a workplace under the OHS Act. As a property owner, you have legal obligations to comply with the Act. If an accident occurs, you could be found liable for failing to meet those obligations and may be sued for any injuries that occur.
  • Protect yourself by ensuring workers are properly insured by WorkSafeNB. All sub-contractors hired by the contractor should also be covered.
  • Hiring safety-conscious contractors will not only help protect you from liability, it will also reduce the chance of incurring costly delays associated with injuries.

Plan for safety

Set aside time to ensure:

  • The proper building permits have been obtained and the project complies with all zoning bylaws.
  • Contractors and sub-contractors are properly insured.
  • The contractor has safety measures in place and maintains them throughout the project.

Are you ready to build?

  • Ensure your contractor or subcontractor is registered with WorkSafeNB if they have three or more employees.
  • Ask your contractor to provide a workers’ compensation clearance certificate. This is proof they have workers’ compensation coverage. Clearance certificates are available on our website.
  • Ensure any injuries that occur during the project are reported to WorkSafeNB. 


Questions for your contractor: 

How long have you been in business?

What licences or qualifications do you have for your trade?

What education and training, including safety training, do you have?

Are employees regularly updated on new processes and equipment?

Do you comply with the OHS Act and its regulations?

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