PDT Staff Writer
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is cautioning homeowners to do their homework before hiring contractors to repair damages caused by recent storms. Businesses offering services like tree removal, and roofing and gutter repair must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage to protect their workers if they are injured on the job.
“There are unfortunately some less than reliable contractors who will capitalize on the misfortune of wary homeowners and have not acquired the necessary workers’ compensation coverage,” BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer said. “If a worker is injured repairing a private residence and is not covered by workers’ compensation insurance, the homeowner can be at risk of costly litigation.”
All employers with one or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. Independent contractors and subcontractors also must obtain coverage for their employees. Homeowners can also purchase a domestic household policy to cover workers hired to provide home improvements for construction activities if the worker does not have his own business or workers’ compensation insurance.
Buehrer said homeowners are encouraged to ask potential contractors to produce a copy of their BWC certificate of coverage. They can also utilize the coverage look up tool at ohiobwc.com, or call 1-800-OHIOBWC to confirm coverage.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org