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Buying a new roof? Consider this…

  • Issued: February 25, 2015
  • Content last reviewed: February 2015

Falls on construction projects continue to be the main cause of workplace injuries in Ontario.

Roofing is dangerous work; even a small slip can have serious consequences. So it’s very important to ask about health and safety precautions and certifications before you hire a roofing contractor.

Did you know?

  • By law, workers must be trained in fall protection and must be protected at all times when working above 3 metres (10 feet).
  • Employers must train workers in workplace safety hazards.

Before signing a contract ask the contractor about worker safety

  • Is the contractor registered with the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board? (WSIB administers compensation and no-fault insurance.)
  • Have the workers been trained to work safely?
  • Will workers be wearing fall protection equipment?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, look for another contractor.

Home renovation problems are consistently among the top consumer complaints in Ontario

Take the following precautions before you sign a contract:

  • Get written estimates for the work. Generally, three estimates will provide enough information, but get as many as you need to feel comfortable making a final decision.
  • Ensure the estimates contain everything you ask for. Assume anything not listed is not included in the price.
  • Before signing the contract, ensure you fully understand what you are signing for and what is included.
  • Ensure the contract covers all discussed terms. This should include a breakdown of all costs and applicable taxes. A “hand shake” promise may not be enforceable if it’s not included in a written contract.
  • Avoid contractors who offer tax-free deals. This can be a sign that a business is avoiding important consumer and worker protection responsibilities as well. A tax-free deal without a receipt provides no legal recourse over the goods and services purchased, and can result in you having to pay twice if the job is left unfinished or done poorly.

You have consumer rights protected by law. Visit Ontario.ca/homerenos to find out more. Call Consumer Protection Ontario at 1-800-889-9768 if you have a complaint about a contractor not fulfilling a written contract.

For additional information from the Ministry of Labour visit Ontario.ca/beforeyoubuyaroof. If you have general inquiries about workplace health and safety or want to report a workplace health and safety incident call 1-877-202-0008.