Occupational Health & Safety Legislation in relation to Workplace Violence and Harassment Canada

Occupational Health & Safety Legislation:

In relation to Workplace Violence, Harassment and Unsafe Work in Canada

Workers Compensation Act: Refusing unsafe work

Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work. If you have reasonable cause to believe that performing a job or task puts you or someone else at risk, you must not perform the job or task. You must immediately notify your supervisor or employer, who will then take the appropriate steps to determine if the work is unsafe and remedy the situation.

If a worker refuses work because it’s unsafe, workplace procedures will allow the issue to be properly understood and corrected. As a worker, you have the right to refuse to perform a specific job or task you believe is unsafe without being disciplined by your employer. Your employer or supervisor may temporarily assign a new task to you, at no loss in pay.

  1. Report the unsafe condition or procedure
    As a worker, you must immediately report the unsafe condition to a supervisor or employer.
    As a supervisor or employer, you must investigate the matter and fix it if possible. If you decide the worker’s concern is not valid, report back to the worker.
  2. If a worker still views work as unsafe after a supervisor or employer has said it is safe to perform a job or task
    As a supervisor or employer, you must investigate the problem and ensure any unsafe condition is fixed.
    This investigation must take place in the presence of the worker and a worker representative of the joint health and safety committee or a worker chosen by the worker’s trade union. If there is no safety committee or representing trade union at the workplace, the worker who first reported the unsafe condition can choose to have another worker present at the investigation.
  3. If a worker still views work as unsafe, notify your provincial Workers Compensation Board