Changes are coming in August to the right to refuse unsafe work
Workers have the right to refuse work that would “create an undue hazard to the health and safety of any person”. When a worker exercises this right it helps identify hazards and keep workplaces safer for all.
Starting August 22, 2022, WorkSafeBC will be implementing amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety regulations that create an entire new section (3.12.1). This section makes important changes to the process, including what employers can and can’t do after a refusal takes place.
Starting August employers must ensure a subsequent worker is advised in writing (an email or text, for example) of any unresolved work refusal made in relation to assigned work.
Reassignment of refused work (Entire section is new)
3.12.1 (1) If a worker refuses work under section 3.12, the employer must not require or permit another worker to do the refused work unless
(a) the matter has been resolved under section 3.12 (3), (4) or (5), or
(b) the employer has, in writing, advised the other worker and a person referred to in section 3.12 (4)(a), (b) or (c) of all of the following:
(i) the refusal;
(ii) the unsafe condition reported under section 3.12 (2);
(iii) the reasons why the task would not create an undue hazard to the health and safety of the other worker or any other person;
(iv) the right of the other worker under section 3.12 to refuse unsafe work.