WorkSafeBC amends rules on the refusal of unsafe work
Monica FergusonHealth & Safety Machine Building Manufacturing Mining & Resources Occupational Health and Safety Regulation refuse unsafe work safety concerns undue hazard unresolved work refusal WorkSafeBC
Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation are now in effect that strengthen worker protections on the right to refuse unsafe work.
“Worker safety is our top priority, and this regulatory change strengthens worker protections,” says Dan Strand, director of prevention field services, WorkSafeBC. “This amendment makes the right to refuse process more transparent and allows workers to make informed decisions.”
All workers in BC have the right to refuse work where there is reasonable cause to believe it would create an undue hazard to their health or safety. Prior to the amendment, the regulation did not explicitly prohibit the reassignment of refused work or require the disclosure that another worker had refused the task due to health or safety concerns.
Under the new rules, employers are required to notify workers in writing of any unresolved work refusal due to safety concerns. It also requires employers to tell the subsequent worker the specific reasons the first worker felt the task was unsafe. The employer must also explain why the task would not create an undue hazard to their health and safety.