The Thin Line: Constructor Status and Responsibilities under the OHSA
One of the most complex issues under Ontario occupational health and safety law relates to determining which party is the “constructor” on a construction project.
The constructor of a project has extensive responsibilities, including the need to file documents with the Ministry of Labour and ultimate responsibility for health and safety on the project for all workers. Unfortunately, it is possible for owners to unknowingly assume the role and responsibility of a constructor even when they hire an experienced general contractor for that purpose.
Recent prosecutions, have shown that the Ministry of Labour has taken an aggressive stance on attempting to impose constructor obligations on owners in situations even where another contractor was put in charge of the project.
Knowledge of the fine line between owner and constructor is critical not just for construction contractors, but for any organization that plans to have construction work done, even work as minimal as office renovations