Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fall protection is law. Reduce your liability.

eavestroughs, toronto, harness, safety
When hiring any contractor who will be working at heights on your home you must ensure they will wear fall protection. The ministry of labour says that any person working over 10 feet must use a full body harness and safety lines to prevent a fall.
When I explain to a homeowner the importance of using fall protection their first reaction is that they do not have to worry about it. Many people think that as long as the eavestrough company they hire has insurance and workers compensation, its not their problem if something goes wrong. While these are important things to have, they do not cover ministry of labour fines which can easily reach 100,000 dollars. There have been portions of this fine given to the homeowner especially if they are hiring multiple contractors to work on their home. They may be considered to be their own general contractor and will be responsible for conducting a safe work site. These fines are not covered by insurance. The same as you can not buy insurance for getting speeding tickets on the highway.

Too many companies talk and advertise safety but do not follow through on the enforcement.
To mention that their installers are fully trained in fall protection means nothing if they do not take the equipment onto the roof and actually use it all the time. When deciding on a contractor to install eavestroughs and leafguard, make sure they will follow the law and get this clear before the job starts. If they give you any resistance then it's best to keep looking. I realize that most companies in cities like Toronto and Scarborough do not tie off but the more homeowners that are educated and aware of the risks will put pressure on unsafe companies. Unfortunately, there are not enough inspectors to oversee all the construction in the city. We have been doing eavestroughs for years and have yet to see a safety inspector come and check things out. You just have to drive around and see lots of companies working at heights without protection. You are more likely to see unsafe work taking place which is doing the homeowner no favors if a fall was to occur.
We at North Shore Eavestroughing fully train our staff and enforce fall protection for the betterment of the installers, the homeowner and the company. We believe that no eavestrough job is worth anyone getting injured or worse. It does require a bit more time and equipment to complete a project using fall protection. However the more companies that decide to work safe will put us all on a level playing field at least in regards to safety. North Shore works hard to follow the law and challenge all our competitors to do the same. Education, awareness and enforcement will prevent needless injuries and deaths that occur every year in Ontario.
Visit our website at for more information.

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