March 15, 2012
Independent operators with no employees, who perform ‘construction’ work (work that falls primarily under Class G of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s Employer Classification Manual), have until Dec. 31, 2012 to register their business with the WSIB.

Bill 119, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, makes insurance coverage mandatory for independent operators, who do not employ workers. The Bill was proclaimed as of Jan. 1, 2012, and comes into full force on Jan. 1, 2013.

An independent operator is defined as, “a person who carries on an industry included in Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 and who does not employ any workers for that purpose.” WSIB’s Class G includes rate groups in the 700s, such as excavating, masonry or fence, deck or pool installation (711), but Bill 119 could also affect other rate groups with complementary businesses. For example, among member firms of Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS), this could include landscape or pool companies that use an independent contractor to do portions of the work within the contract that are classified as construction activities. To figure out whether your business may be included, see below, ‘Determining whether Bill 119 affects you.’

Home Renovators who contract directly with the person occupying the residence, and work exclusively in home renovation, are exempt from the mandatory coverage legislation.

The WSIB warns that landscape companies using an independent contractor to do work classified in Class G, by January 2013, must make sure they are registered with WSIB by requesting a clearance certificate.

For more information on the amendment, access Bill 119 and background information at  

Does Bill 119 affect you?

Check out online by accessing the WSIB’s Employer Classification Manual at Landscape companies are typically registered in rate group 190 under Class C.

Note that the above activities under 190 are classified with a domestic or home renovation application for a private residence.  

Commercial contracts would classify these activities under Class G: Construction. The work activities that a landscape company may include in the scope of a contract and might be classified in Class G: Construction fall under rate groups 711: Roadbuilding and Excavating, 741: Masonry and 748: Form work and demolition. The work activities include: excavating and grading, asphalt paving, fencing and deck installation, swimming pool installation, masonry and stone work and pre-cast concrete installation except domestic.

If your company includes these types of work within your landscape contracts, call the WSIB’s Employer Service Centre during business hours to clarify the application for your business at 1-800-387-0750, and select option “3” to connect with the centre.

If you’re an independent operator required under Bill 119 to register, you can do so online at

Estimating premiums

To calculate the premiums you could expect to pay, based on 2012 assessment rates, WSIB has an online premium estimator. Visit, enter “premium estimator” in the search field, and click on “How much will I pay in WSIB premiums?”