Ontario Guys Please Read!!!

This is what a realtor sent to me today via e-mail after receiving some correspondance from me:

"Mr. Home Inspector from Housemasters gave a presentation at our bi-monthly meeting yesterday saying that all home inspectors MUST be safety-certified by the Ontario Construction Safety Association and MUST have fall arrest equipment and confined space entry equipment OR ELSE THE REALTORS WILL FACE FINES RANGING FROM $500 TO $250,000

Apparently this new regulation comes into effect Sept 30. I will not be
using any inspector that does not meet these new regulations."

I have never heard of this, unless I did not read an OAHI newsletter. I am floored!! It seems this inspector is quoting from the Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act with which I am familiar. I checked out the inspectors name whom I deleted from this post and he doesn’t look like he’s an OAHI member or a NACHI member.

Please let me know what you guys think, am I wrong to think this inspector is full of it?

Mark Ferro

Well I guess I was wrong, I just read the post further down. I guess i’ll be signing up for fall protection.

When I was working before home inspecting I was in a lot of confined spaces, so do you have any idea as to what the equipment is that you are to have before going into a confined space, such as saftey person, scott air pack, saftey lines and equipment,first aid person, fire department,meetings,plans,etc. etc.?? Your inspection of a crawl space in a home just went to $5,000.00:roll:

I think you will find those regulations apply to industrial settings, industrial settings, commercial settings.

I think the Housemaster inspector was getting his facts wrong and embellishing what little he may know.

There is no way anyone doing a home inspection would be required to have a air pack to enter a crawlspace. The realtor should take a doze of reality. I also don’t believe the Realtor would bare any liability.

Here we go again. I am going to sign up for fall arrest training, again, and ask the instructor some probing questions. Number one on my list is how we are supposed to tye off on a house that is 40 years old when there are no tye offs present? How am I supposed to tye off the ladder without getting up on the ladder and doing something destructive to the house to tye it off? When I get up on the roof how am I supposed to attach tye offs to the roof without doing something destructive to the roof to attach them? I can see where this is going. The $370.00 inspection just became well over the $1000.00 and then hire a roofer to come in and repair the holes I put in the roof to attach the tye offs. Remember the tye offs have to be secured to a structural member capable of holding 5000 lbs. On the average roof this means tying off in about three places and on a large roof you may have to do 5 or 6 tye offs. This is ridiculous. As far as going into confined spaces, if the opening is less that 20 x 30 and the space inside is less than 30" high we are not required to enter.
Pure unmitigated bu** s%@t.

Another thing that comes to mind is that it is not the realtor that is hiring you it is the client who is selling or purchasing the home so what has the realtor got to do with the transaction between you and your client.

Some thirty years ago ( God I sound like my grandfather) when I was service manager at a cable tv outfit, I sent all the installers, linemen etc to a ladder safety seminar put on by Bell Telephone. The very first thing on the list of ladder safety items was;

  • ALWAYS tie off your ladder at the top before ascending."

Was always a mystery to me too Larry. Please post the answer if you get one ( we never did).

Hey Larry! Still waiting for that photo too. Say “cheese”.

I’ve done a bit of reasearch on the topic and wrote back to the agent as follows, i’m just wondering if I should have cc’d the inspector that gave the agent the “misinformation”.

"Thanks for your response Janet & Klaus, to be honest I believe Mr. #### may have misunderstood the information he was given. I’ll try and give you a clear answer below.

The Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act enforced by the Ministry of
Labour is only applicable to an “employee” in the service of a “business”
that has hired that individual to work for them.

The Act does NOT apply to work performed by a contractor that was hired by another individual on a private basis. For example if you hired a roofer to
re-do your roof on your home the Act does not apply to you and you would not be charged by the Ministry of Labour if something were to happen. The same can be said about home inspectors, in most cases a residential Home
Inspector is hired by the home buyer to perform a home inspection on a
private basis. Therefore, for Mr. #### to state that the real estate agent
can be charged by the MOL is not accurate, the real estate agent is not even the hiring party.

Now, it is a little different if a home inspector were to inspect a new home
for a client before they take possession. If a home inspector is to perform
an inspection on a construction site than they would be required to have
fall protection by law as of 2002 or the home builder can deny them access
as they are technically the owner of the property and they can be charged if something were to happen on their site. In this case the CSA of Ontario
would be a training provider for fall protection and confined spaces.

For more info and to verify what i’ve stated please visit the Ministry of
Labours website: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/

This specific link to the MOL is what I believe Mr. #### may have
misunderstood: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/news/2006/06-86.html
This new regulation only applies to specific sectors and would only apply to
a Home Inspector providing their service on a contruction site where the
home buyer has yet to take possession of their new home.

In any event Inside Out Home Inspections will have fall protection
certification by Oct 4, 2006 as we do feel that safety is very important.

Again I would like to state that fall certification and confined space
training should not be the sole determining factor in hiring a Home
Inspector. One should also make sure an inspector is an active member of a governing body such as OAHI or NACHI, without membership in these types of organization it is very difficult for an inspector to obtain E/O and General
Liability insurance.

I hope this clears things up for you, if there is anything else we can
clarify please let me know. You can reach me personally on my cell phone at 905-###-#### if you like to discuss this further."

Good letter, but not to detract - but it depends if it is a new home under contract with builder and not taken over by an owner, opposed to one that is an existing home. Builders expect that all people visting the site conform to The Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act enforced by the Ministry of Labour. So for a PDI - The Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act applies as you have indicated.

It goes without saying that the same care and diligence is expected on any inspection regardless of who the inspector is working for. There have existed situations where even the owner has reported unsafe practices of an inspector to the Department of Labour. This has caused recent concerns and focus to “home inspectors”.

Good letter the only thing I might have written differently is the word Would .I think it might be better as Could …
Now regarding the ladder and harness requirements.
I talked to a roofer friend Last night he has 14 guys working for him 20 years never an accident .
They charged him last month one of his guys did not have a safety harness was carring shingles down a long roof $300:00 fine .
The inspector said to him if he goes up to the court house now they JP would drop the fine to $150:00 and Tom would save $150:00 .
Tom said no this is the most stupid regulation I have ever heard and I want my day in court .
He said these ropes are a hazard and stupid .
Tell me how I can have 4 roofers with four hoses on a roof now you want 4 ropes I will have people falling and getting tangled ,roofs will double in cost to get done .
The Inspector pleaded with him to go and get the JP to reduce it . Tom said no when can I see you in Court .
Apparently they have such a back log with Roofers fighting this that it is tying up the courts and no idea when this will come to a head .
Now what are they going to do with John Q public who say I am going to do my own roof because of the extra expenses .
In the area just North of me they just had a home owner fall of the roof trying to get on his ladder and he has many many breaks .
This silly law will just cost more Dollars via hospitalization going up and lost time from the person regular job .Tom has asked me to go to court as an independent expert witness to show how silly this law is .
How can a HI put on a harness to go to the top of the roof to now add a tie off for the harness he is dragging behind him .
This is going to cause more accidents then it will prevent.
They have given Tom the Privilege of trainer for his own men and issuing them a certificate for a harness that they will not wear .
It just gets better . Will keep you posted .
I should apply to be an instructor .
Roy Cooke

I guess the way around it is if your going to be doing PDI inspections on new homes make sure the ladder it tied off and just perform the roof inspections from the eaves and report as limitation, you’ll still need fall cert. in order to be on the site.

For home inspections on a resale home fall protection equipment and cert is not required.

However, that might not be the case where the owner of a HI business has workers of his own, that employer must follow due diligence as his workers have rights and responsibilities under the OOHSA.

Larry, I don’t think there is anything stopping anyone from tying off a ladder by throwing a rope over the roof, tying one end to the truck bumper or hitch and the other end to a harness, another to the ladder.

I don’t understand why we are talking about inspecting roof on PDI inspection. I performed about 100 PDI and I never ever had a chance to inspect exterior of building envelope, since its never ready. All that PDI is about its interior inspection. As to the exterior the builder always puts a disclaimer that it will be finished later. In any case if you have a chance you can inspect roof covers with binoculars from ground. On today’s two story houses there is no access to the roof other than with the help of 32’ ladder anyway :twisted: , but I don’t think too many people carry this long ladder with them, especially on PDI, which is conducted by the builder in a hurry (since they do at least 3 or 4 a day) and in a very limited time frame (like 1 hour or so). If you want to walk around the house on a construction site you need safety boots and hard hat rather than fall certification :mrgreen:.</IMG></IMG>

Just my luck Char ( My Wife ) would move the truck so the owner can get out of the garage.
. Who Carries two ropes one small enough to throw over the roof and the second to be strong enough to tie off the ladder .
Tell me how many ropes have you ever tossed over any thing .
I have done it lots of times and have a one lb weight to do it with .
I can see the first time I do it on the Job the line will be just long enough to go 4 feet past the gutter and BASH through the sliding glass window .
Thanks I will take my chance with the safety Inspector and get him to show me how he breaks the Window .
You can be sure I will have my Camera taking pictures of this fiasco Wow !
I sure could get a lot of millage with that .
Thanks for the Chuckle Ray .
Roy Cooke

Again, Ray
All tye offs must be to a structural member.

In as much as most builders, not all, but most will not allow an independent on site at the time of a PDI by the time you get to do the PDI the homeowner has taken possession and the house is no longer a construction site.

Larry if there are no structural members to tie off, I.e. no anchor points I have seen anchors driven into ground to be used as anchor points for ropes. I don’t know whether its legit, but it ain’t gonna move and you are not putting your trust in some unknown structural member. :wink:

It sure would make for a great Abbott and Costello skit or maybe The Three Stooges.:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

For those who want to question the trainer, come along on October 4 in Burlington, for $106 bucks you can take him to task and get a bit of a safety refresher and if you pass a certificate. Then you can tell anyone who asks - what you know about fall arrest training.
Again - I am only doing this for the people that work for me, and I am offering it to anyone else who is interested because, it might help others.
If you cant get a payment in advance of the course I am willing to take your word you will show.

thanks again
ACISS Home & Commercial Inspections

Allan, I sent off a chq last night for $212 for my partner and myself. Count 2 more towards your total participants.