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Renovation site safety takes high priority at MHBA

Brandon Sun files

It’s not necessarily well-known that a home technically becomes a construction site and workplace for the duration of a renovation project.

Most people aren’t aware that when a renovation project begins in their home, it technically becomes a construction site and workplace for those who are doing the renovation work. Manitoba Home Builders’ Association renovator members take this very seriously.

In order to promote and achieve greater safety results for renovators, the Construction Safety Association of Manitoba (CSAM) partnered with the MHBA to develop a specific safety training program for home renovators.

This safety program was launched last fall at the 2017 MHBA Housing Forum and has been available for renovators and their employees to take since that initial launch.

The MHBA is excited to provide this training tool to our members to help ensure they are working in a safe environment.

The training program, provided by CSAM, outlines health and safety roles and responsibilities, how to do proper hazard assessments and how to implement proper safety practices and procedures while working on renovation projects.

The goal of this program is to help MHBA renovators improve safety on their work sites and keep them up to date on the latest in safety procedures and best practices.

Following the launch of the new Renovator Safety Program, the MHBA’s renovator council recommended that this new program be a requirement for all existing and new MHBA renovator members.

The MHBA board of directors agreed and approved making the completion of the Renovator Safety Program a new requirement for all renovator members starting this fall. This is a clear demonstration from MHBA members that workplace safety is a priority.

In addition to protecting workers on residential construction sites, MHBA members also want to make sure the homeowner is protected as well. MHBA renovator members always provide a written contract and offer a minimum two-year warranty on all of their work. MHBA RenoMark renovators will take out all the appropriate permits and licences required for the project. This is your best insurance to ensure your renovator, rather than you, is responsible for any problems encountered during or after the work is completed.

Homeowners that don’t ensure the renovator takes out the appropriate permits take on all liability regarding the project. If the permit is in your name, or you don’t have one, you become the prime contractor by default. If someone gets hurt as a result of working on your property, you — not the contractor you hired — are responsible. This is a significant risk many homeowners are unaware of.

Through the "Get it in Writing!" national public awareness campaign, MHBA renovators continue to help inform consumers on how to best protect themselves when hiring a contractor for renovations.

Part of that greater awareness is for homeowners to know to ask a potential renovator contractor how they will do the job safely.

When looking for the right renovator for your project, be sure to ask them about their safety procedures. It’s important that you know your renovator and their staff will be working in a safe way when they are in your home or on your property.

Protect yourself and your investment by asking the right questions ahead of time and hiring a contractor that will do the job professionally and safely.

Lanny McInnes is president of the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association.

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