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Safety key consideration for home reno projects

Make sure training and paperwork are in order before your living space becomes a construction site

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 renovations. 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 in 2017 and has been available for renovators and their employees since that time.

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 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 in the fall of 2018. Ensuring all MHBA renovator members have completed the Renovator Safety Program is a clear demonstration from the MHBA that workplace safety is a priority for our members.

In addition to protecting their 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 who 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.

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 home renovation project, be sure to ask about their safety procedures. It’s important you know your renovator and their staff will work in a safe way when in your home or on your property. Protect yourself and your investment by asking the right questions ahead of time and hiring a contractor who will do the job professionally and safely.

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

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