Home renovations? Hire a professional

by | Nov 29, 2013 | News

Alejandra Fretes
Applied Technology Reporter

Every year Canadians try to save a few bucks when it comes to their home renovations, unaware of the serious risks involved in doing so.

“Anything that involves gas, electrical and any larger scale plumbing jobs…we do have licensed people and people going to school to do this,” said Josh Moghimy-Oskouei, shop coordinator for ECO Mechanical Team Inc., an environmentally friendly contracting company. “Is it really worth saving the money to put your family or yourself in grave danger?”

Trades men and women are educated and trained in school and through their employers on how to not only keep themselves safe, but those around them.

“You always have to be aware of your surroundings,” said Kris Smith, a fourth-year electrical apprentice at Humber College.

Smith attends safety classes at Humber on the weekends for additional training, as required by his employer for him to complete his apprenticeship. He explained that every site he’s worked on has a safety inspector who is always present and ensures that workers continue to be safe on the job.

“We have to follow the rules that the WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) and the Health and Safety Act puts forward,” said Alex Clegg, project manager and estimator for Lifetime Contractor for the past three years. “If the Ministry of Labour happened to walk on our site and saw something unsafe, they would basically shut down the project and fine us for unsafe work.”

Clegg said one of his many duties at work is to ensure the safety of his employees on their job sites.

He added anyone hiring contractors for their at-home renovation projects should ensure the contractor has accreditation with companies like the Canadian Home Builders Association, along with liability insurance of at least $2-million.

“Make sure the company you’re hiring is well reputable…and when they get there ask them if they’re certified, ask them if they have their licenses,” said Moghimy-Oskouei. “Their trucks will have a TSSA number on them, or ESA for electrical safety standards. They’re in place for a reason.”