Your most basic right is the right to refuse unsafe work:
CUPE members in British Columbia have the legal right to refuse unsafe work under the Workers’ Compensation Act, Occupational Health and Safety Regulation Section 3.12. When a person believes that a work process or operation of a tool or equipment presents an undue hazard to the health or safety, or to the health and safety of any person, then the person can refuse that work.
Steps to Refuse Work
- If you believe that an undue hazard exists at your worksite, you are forbidden to carry out any work.
- Notify your supervisor or employer of the unsafe condition, and your refusal to work.
- The supervisor or employer must investigate and remedy the situation without delay, and inform you of the results.
- If you are not satisfied with the remedy, you can still refuse to work. The supervisor or employer must conduct the investigation with you and the workers’ health and safety representative or union.
- If the investigation does not resolve the matter, continue to refuse work.
- Either you or your employer must inform an officer of the Workers’ Compensation Board to investigate.
Workers cannot be disciplined for complying with the legislation and regulations, according to the Workers’ Compensation Act, Occupational Health and Safety Regulation ? Section 3.13. You have the legal right to a healthy and safe workplace.