CLV Special Report - Employer Liability for Contractors

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Few Canadian Ontario Health & Safety (OH&S) topics create more controversy and confusion than the topic of using contractors. In the OH&S context, there is so much more to a contract than meets the eye. We all think of contracting as entering into legally enforceable agreements for supply of goods or performance of work at a fixed price. Dictionary definitions, commercial practice, and common sense all speak to the propriety of regarding such agreements as having full legal effect. Yet, under OH&S laws across Canada, nothing could be further from the truth.

Workplace parties holding the status of employer or work site owner often get more than they bargained for when they contract out. In all jurisdictions, corporate and personal liability and negative publicity surrounding OH&S related accidents and violations, particularly those involving contractors, has increased. More and more cases result in significant penalties for employers and constructors. Yet many organizations still do not have in place effective or legally sufficient control strategies for contractors who enter the workplace to perform temporary work, service work, or construction projects.

This updated and revised practical special report focuses exclusively on development of best practices for contractor safety programs, in Ontario. This report offers a detailed analysis of the issues and potential liabilities which arise, both in contracting for services and contracting for construction projects. Clear, concise, and effective management strategies are offered, in the hope that our knowledge and experience as both legal representatives and trainers in this area will assist Ontario employers to appreciate the risks in contracting, and to create appropriate contractor safety programs for their workplaces.


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Labor & employment


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