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Construction Site Cleaning

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Construction Site Cleaning

April 15, 2015

The WCIRB has received questions regarding the classification applicable to construction site cleaning. There are several classifications that potentially apply to these operations, depending primarily on the employer’s overall business operations.

Construction site cleanup employees are often hired by the general contractor at a construction project to remove debris throughout the duration of the project. In the case of a general contractor that generates payroll in one or more construction classifications, the cleanup employees are classified in accordance with the rule for Miscellaneous Employees. The USRP at Part 3, Standard Classification System, Section IV, Special Industry Classification Procedures, Rule 2, Construction and Erection Operations, paragraph c. provides as follows:

c. Miscellaneous Employees (Construction or Erection)
If the construction or erection operations at any location are assigned to two or more classifications, the payroll of all miscellaneous employees who cannot properly be assigned to specific classifications shall be assigned to the governing classification, except that when the governing classification is determined to be the combination of two classifications distinguishable only by the regular hourly wage of employees, the payroll of a miscellaneous employee shall be assigned based on the regular hourly wage of such employee. Miscellaneous employees include, but are not limited to, supervisors, watchpersons, traffic control flagpersons, drivers, construction or safety engineers, construction debris cleanup employees and job-site equipment maintenance and repair employees. (emphasis added)

Based on this rule, the cleanup employees must be assigned to the employer’s governing classification, which is the classification to which the largest amount of payroll is assigned. Rule 2b provides instructions regarding the governing classification for construction or erection employers: 

b. Governing Classification (Construction or Erection)
The governing classification shall be determined on the basis of the job within the policy period if payrolls are kept separately by job within the policy period; otherwise, on the basis of the entire policy period. Two classifications distinguishable only by the regular hourly wage of employees shall be combined to determine the governing classification.

Rule 2b provides that the governing classification shall be determined for each job if payrolls are kept separately by job within the policy period; otherwise, the governing classification is determined based on the payroll developed during the entire policy period. For example, if Classification 5213, Concrete Construction – N.O.C., develops the largest amount of payroll for a particular job, the cleanup employees must be assigned to Classification 5213 for such job. If payroll records were not maintained on a job basis and Classification 5214, Concrete or Cement Work, developed the largest amount of payroll during the policy period, the cleanup employees must be assigned to Classification 5214.

On job sites where an employer subcontracts all construction operations to licensed subcontractors and employs job site cleanup employees, the cleanup employees are assigned to Classification 9015(1), Building Operation – all other employees, in accordance with the following footnote that attends Classification 9015(1):

For construction or erection employers that subcontract all construction operations to licensed subcontractors, this classification applies to employees engaged in job site cleanup and warranty repair conducted after construction is completed.

A similar footnote attends Classification 5606, Contractors – executive level supervisors:

On jobs where all construction operations are subcontracted to licensed subcontractors, Classification 9015(1), Building Operation – all other employees, shall apply to job site cleanup and warranty repair conducted after construction is completed.

If the contractor engages an employer (separate concern) to clean construction sites on a fee basis, Classification 9008, Janitorial Services – by contractor, applies to the separate employer. In addition, if the contractor engages an employer to perform the final interior cleaning of newly constructed or remodelled residential properties to make them ready for occupancy, often referred to as “white glove” cleaning, Classification 9096, Residential Cleaning Services, applies to the separate employer.

Related Information

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Online Guide to Workers' Compensation: The Standard Classifcation System

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