Purchasers of construction services – for your job

Although you may not work in the construction industry, if your business hires contractors to do construction work you do have responsibilities under Bill 119 Mandatory Coverage in construction.

What Bill 119 Mandatory Coverage in Construction means for Purchasers of Construction Services.

If you’ve hired a contractor to perform Class G construction work, a valid clearance number must be in place before the work starts. A clearance number proves that a business/contractor is registered with the WSIB and that their account is in good standing.

The business/contractor you hired can provide it to you by giving you their clearance number or you can obtain one easily and quickly online through our online clearance number service.

This clearance number is valid for up to 90 days from the date of issue. You need to make sure that the business you hired has a valid clearance number for the full length of the work you’ve hired them for. If the work being done lasts longer than the period the clearance number is valid for, the clearance number can be renewed, as long as the account is in good standing.

Why is a Clearance Number Important?

A clearance number proves that the business/contractor you have hired is properly insured with the WSIB. This means that the hiring party (you/your company) is not liable for any unpaid premiums that the contractor should have paid to the WSIB.

What Happens if you Don’t have a Clearance Number, or the Clearance Number is no Longer Valid?

As of January 1, 2013, doing non-exempt construction work (any work that isn’t exempt home renovation) without a valid clearance number is an offence under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act 1997.

A clearance number proves that the company/individual you have hired to do construction work is registered with the WSIB and that their account is in good standing.

If you/your company allows construction work to go ahead without a valid clearance number, you/your company is committing an offence and will be charged under the WSIA. The fine for the conviction of an offence under the WSIA is up to a maximum of $100,000.

You/your company could also be liable to pay any unpaid premiums or other fees owed to the WSIB that your contractor should have paid on the work you hired them to do.

Get more information on Penalties and Fines.

What Should you do if your Contractor doesn’t have a Clearance Number?

If your contractor doesn’t have a clearance number you should refuse entry to the jobsite until a valid clearance number is in place.

How can you Tell if a Clearance Number is Valid?

If you want to obtain a clearance number or check on the status of a clearance number, go to the WSIB website and use our online clearance number service. You can enter the clearance number into the site, and our system will let you know whether or not it’s valid.

What if your Contractor gives you an Independent Operator Letter that says He Doesn’t Need Coverage?

The independent operator status letters for construction only applied until December 31, 2012. This means that your contractor previously didn’t need coverage, but as of January 1, 2013, the rules have changed and they are now required to have WSIB coverage.

Have Questions?

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please see our FAQs, our Administrative Practice Documents, send us an email at needWSIBcoverage@wsib.on.ca or call us Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 416-344-1000 or 1-800-387-0750 (TTY 1-800-387-0050).