All workers in British Columbia have four basic health and safety rights.
Workers have the right to know about any potential hazards in the workplace. Workers also have a right to training and information on machinery, equipment, working conditions, processes and hazardous substances.
Examples of a worker's right to know:
Workers can ask the employer to provide information on:
Workers have the right to participate in the process of identifying and resolving workplace health and safety concerns. They can participate through worker membership on Joint Health and Safety Committees and reporting concerns to their supervisor or employer. Workers also have the right to participate in workplace inspections and investigations.
Workers have the right to refuse work that they believe is dangerous to their own health and safety or to another worker. The right to refuse unsafe work is one of the few exceptions to the "work now, grieve later" rule in labour relations.
Section 3.12 of the Workers Compensation Act (Canada Labour Code Part II - Section 128 & 129) includes the process for refusing work and employer responsibilities for responding to refusals. Legislation also provides workers with protection from reprisal from the employer.
Workers cannot be fired or disciplined for participating in health and safety activities.
A worker's safety responsibilities when working include:
Please note: a worker can be held liable if he or she does not work safely.
Check the resources page to link to more information on health and safety.
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