Health & Safety - November 12, 2019

           Right to Refuse Unsafe Work

If you have an issue on your job that is serious and requires immediate attention then remember you have the "Right to Refuse Unsafe Work". When exercising your Right, remember this:

  • Inform the supervisor that you are Refusing to Work because it is unsafe,
    • All argument should then stop,
    • The supervisor should immediately get you a Safety Representative,
    • If either of these do not happen, leave the situation and seek a Safety Rep. or Union Rep. IMMEDIATELY! Or you can call the Ministry of Labour at 1 - (877) - 202 - 0008,
    • You should wait in a safe area.
  • You, the Safety Rep. and the supervisor will investigate the details of the Work Refusal,
  • The company will attempt to satisfy your concerns,
  • If there is no resolution then the Ministry of Labour is to be called,
    • Anyone can call the Ministry of Labour (Worker, Safety Rep. or supervisor)
  • After the Ministry has been called;
    • The worker can be reassigned to another job (not in a punitive manner),
    • The company can assign someone else to perform the job after informing the worker - in the presence of the Safety Rep. - of the details of the Refusal
    • (No one is obligated to perform a job that has been Refused, and the Inspector can fine anyone deemed to be working in an unsafe manner),
  • The Inspector will investigate the details of the Work Refusal with the Worker, supervisor and Safety Rep.,
  • The Inspector will render a decision whether the situation is "Likely to endanger" or "Not likely to endanger",
    • If "Likely to endanger" then the Inspector is likely to write an order against the company to correct the situation before the job can be run,
    • If "Not likely to endanger" then the worker will be expected to perform the job, but still has the right to appeal the decision later.