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Rights & Responsibilities 

As an employer, it is your safety responsibility to:

  • provide a safe workplace;
  • provide equipment and machinery of safe design and in safe condition;
  • appoint competent supervisor(s) who set performance standards and ensure safe work procedures are followed;
  • inform workers of their rights, responsibilities and duties;
  • provide adequate job training;
  • train workers on any potential hazards; how to safely use, handle, store and dispose of hazardous substances; and how to handle emergencies;
  • supply personal protective equipment and make sure workers know how to use equipment safely and properly;
  • support and participate in the Occupational Health and Safety committee;
  • meet First Aid standards; and
  • report workplace incidents and injuries to the WSCC (as required by legislation).

Worker Rights

As a supervisor, you must make certain your workers are aware of their three basic rights and how to exercise them.

  • Right to Know
    • Every worker has the right to know of any hazards that may affect their health and safety.
  • Right to Participate
    • Every worker has the right to participate in all matters relating to health and safety in their workplace. This includes participating on a health and safety committee.
  • Right to Refuse
    • Every worker has the right to refuse if they believe there is an unusual danger in the work

Right to Refuse Process

What are the steps involved in a work refusal?

  • Worker promptly reports circumstances of the work refusal to supervisor.
  • Supervisor investigates without delay in the presence of worker and union representative or another worker. Supervisor notifies the worker of the investigation and steps taken.
  • The employer takes steps to eliminate unusual danger. Supervisor shall notify the worker of the investigation and steps taken.
  • Worker remains in a safe place at or near the place of investigation, is paid for this time, and may be assigned alternative work.
  • Once the employer eliminates the unusual danger the worker returns to work.
  • If the worker believes that the steps taken have not eliminated the unusual danger, the worker or supervisor can notify the Joint Worksite Health and Safety Committee (JWHSC) or, if there is no committee, a delegate of the Chief Safety Officer.
  • The JWHSC or Safety Officer investigates in the presence of the employer and the worker within 24 hours to determine if the unusual danger still exists.
  • The employer takes steps to eliminate the unusual danger if it still exists, and the worker returns to work.
  • The worker or employer may appeal a decision of the committee to the Chief Safety Officer who shall, as soon as practicable, investigate and decide on the matter. The decision of the Chief Safety Officer is final.