From creating energy efficiencies to improving broken or damaged items, construction projects are meant to improve a condominium building.
However, these improvements do not come without their fair share of risk to the building corporation, property manager and contractor teams. Here’s the type of risks to look out for and what you should do to avoid any liability throughout a condo improvement project.
Health Risks during Condo Improvement Processes
Besides physical risks, condo improvement processes come with their share of health risks, too. Here are five of the most common ones:
Asbestos: Known to cause cancer, asbestos is a fibrous material that can be uncovered in condo buildings that were constructed before the 1980s.
Lead: Often found in paint products, lead can create a contaminated dust that carries adverse health side effects.
Mould: If your condo building experiences a constant dampness problem, your walls, carpets or more could have a mould buildup. Able to reproduce easily, mould creates ongoing respiratory issues when inhaled.
Dust: A hazard whether it carries harmful chemicals or not, dust can create respiratory issues and eye irritations.
Fumes: Fumes produced from paint, glue and stains can create headaches and lightheadedness.
Often, you don’t know that your condo building can contain health risks until a renovation commences. That’s why it’s crucial that when one is uncovered, there are qualified professionals in place who are OHS compliant.
Liability during Condo Improvement Processes
Under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act, a “project owner” generally includes the property owner and its agents and delegates (including property managers and management companies). When it comes to liability involved with condo improvement projects, project owners have limited responsibility.
The main responsibility a project owner has is to prepare a list of designated substances present on site. This list must be disclosed on project tenders and to the constructor chosen.
The majority of the responsibility for a safe construction project falls on the constructor. Besides ensuring the overall safety of a condo project, the constructor must verify that all workers, supervisors and employers comply with their obligations, too. Contractors must have proper safety training (including occupational health and safety awareness, WHMIS, and – if necessary – working at heights), personal protective equipment and WSIB- clearance and liability insurance when undertaking condo improvement projects.
If the condo corporation or its agents and delegates hire more than one contractor for a project then they will be classified as the Constructor and all duties and responsibilities will be applicable.
Safety Starts with Your Choice in Condo Contractor
Due to its safety and health risks, completing a condo improvement project needs to be done with careful planning and execution. Hiring a reputable company like Canadian Design and Construction is the best way to avoid any significant, unexpected liability. We place importance on creating a safe and healthy work environment and are fully insured, WSIB-registered and compliant with the OHS Act. Contact us today to learn more about the condo improvement processes that we offer.
By Sarah McKenzie