Right to refuse unsafe work

What do you do if you believe your safety is at risk at work?

Speak up.

Because it's your right to refuse to perform a job or task that you reasonably believe puts you or someone else at risk.

How do you do you that?

Steps you can take

Step 1: Report the unsafe condition or procedure

Submit a hazard report to your supervisor, giving the reasons you consider the assignment unsafe. While you may speak to your supervisor, we recommended you always submit the written report.

Your supervisor will review your report and investigate the safety issue. In most cases, the issue can probably be resolved by changing the work procedure, providing education and/or training, modifying the work location, or a combination of remedies.

If you and your supervisor can't find a mutually agreeable resolution, go to step 2.

Per OH&S regulations, a supervisor is a person who instructs, directs and controls workers in the performance of their duties. A supervisor can be any worker — management or staff — who meets this definition, whether or not he or she has the supervisor title. If someone in the workplace has a supervisor's responsibilities, that person is responsible for worker health and safety (e.g., manager, dean).

Step 2: Investigation with JOHSC

If you can't come to a resolution in step 1, your supervisor will ask a worker representative from the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee to take part in an investigation.

If the investigation determined the work is unsafe, Royal Roads will identify the cause and implement safety precautions.

If the investigation determines the work is safe, you'll be informed. If you still don't believe it's safe and refuse to work, go to step 3.

Step 3: WorkSafeBC is notified, attends campus to inspect

If the safety matter is not resolved after the investigation, you and your supervisor must contact WorkSafeBC — 1.888.621.7233. One of its prevention officers will investigate the situation and find a solution.

BC occupational health and safety regulations

Here are WorkSafeBC's regulations about refusing work for safety reasons: