December 15, 2012
Effective Jan. 1, 2013, mandatory WSIB coverage is required for nearly everyone working in the construction industry.

The Ontario government has changed the law to include not just workers, but also business owners.

Construction employers are currently required to have WSIB coverage for their workers. Under the new law, most independent operators, sole proprietors, partners in a partnership and executive officers in a corporation working in construction will also need to have WSIB coverage.

Corporations and partnerships already registered with the WSIB must begin to report the earnings of their executive officers and partners and pay associated premiums in 2013.

What does it mean for landscaping services?

Landscaping work is in Class G: Construction (Rate Groups 704 through 764). The new mandatory coverage rules apply if the landscaper provides construction work as defined by the WSIB Employer Classification Manual.

Such work includes:
  • Rate 711 — fence and deck installation, excavating, swimming pool installation, golf course, park or sports fields construction
  • Rate 751 —  finishing of concrete slabs for patios, private walkways and driveways
  • Rate 704 — landscape lighting
  • Rate 707 — sprinklers systems (lawn)
Starting Jan. 1, 2013, principals who purchase construction services must get a WSIB clearance before any landscaping work in class G construction can begin. This is very important, so they can avoid any liability for unpaid WSIB premiums.

Landscaping work in Class C

The new mandatory coverage in construction rules do not apply to landscaping services in Class C — Rate Group 190 — Landscaping and Related Services. Clearances are available but not mandatory.

Detailed information about mandatory coverage (including exemptions), and rate group descriptions are available at If you have questions you can’t find answers to on the website, or have questions about classification or clearances, call 1-800-387-0750, or 416-344-100, Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition, a WSIB expert on Bill 119 is providing a free special session at Congress on Thurs., Jan. 10. He will also respond to questions. Register in advance for this session to ensure you have a seat, as it is expected to be a busy session. Go to