New app offers quick contractor-liability clearance

WorkSafeBC is releasing a new mobile app that gives employers, contractors, and even homeowners the ability to easily access clearance letters — anywhere, anytime.

Clearance letters are notices that tell employers or homeowners whether a firm, contractor or sub-contractor is complying with WorkSafeBC’s registration and payment requirements. This is important because employers or homeowners that hire a contractor who is not in compliance could be liable for outstanding premiums.
The app allows employers to request new clearance letters from WorkSafeBC, and to review existing clearance letters, requests and contractor profiles — all from their smart phones or tablets. Sub-contractors can use the app to show on-the-spot proof that their WorkSafeBC registrations and premiums are up-to-date. It will automatically email updated clearance information back to the offices of the employers and contractors after they review it in the field. Additionally, it can help homeowners check on contractors before hiring them.

Joan Taylor-Smith, WorkSafeBC manager of finance systems products, says the app will make the clearance process more convenient for employers. “Previously, employers who wanted to check a contractor’s clearance letter status had to wait until they were back at the office,” she says. “Now, they can use their mobile devices to check right there at the jobsite — wherever that jobsite is — at any time of day. They’ll have the information they need, right away.”

The clearance letter mobile app is available on the WorkSafeBC website — people using smartphones will be automatically directed to the mobile app.

This app joins the ranks of another created by WorkSafeBC to assist workers and employers. In 2011, WorkSafeBC unveiled the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation app, allowing users to search and download portions of the regulation on their smart phones.

WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a board of directors that serves about 2.2 million workers and more than 200,000 employers. WorkSafeBC was born from the historic compromise between B.C.’s workers and employers in 1917, where workers gave up the right to sue their employers and fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits.