Refusing Unsafe Work

No employee, worker or supervisor, should work or ask anyone else to work, in an unsafe situation, nor operate tools or equipment they believe are hazardous.

Procedure For Refusing Unsafe Work

  • Report the unsafe work condition to your supervisor
  • Your supervisor must immediately investigate and ensure that any unsafe condition is remedied without delay

Your supervisor must inform you if they consider the reported unsafe condition to be safe.

If you still believe the work is unsafe and decline to carry out the work assigned, your supervisor must investigate this matter with you.

  • The investigation at this step must be done with a worker member of the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC) or an employee selected by the employee’s union
  • You may be given a temporary assignment to alternate work, without loss in pay, until the matter is resolved. You are required to accept the reassignment of work until you return to your original duties
  • Your supervisor must inform you about the investigation results

If the issue isn't resolved after investigation with the committee member and you still believe it's unsafe to work, you and your supervisor must immediately notify WorkSafeBC at 1 888 621-SAFE (7233).

  • A WorkSafeBC representative will attend the work site and investigate the work refusal.
  • The WorkSafeBC officer may issue an inspection report or an order if they find that an undue hazard does exist, or they will advise the parties that no undue hazard is present and the employee can safely perform the work.

For more information on the work refusal process, read Section 3.12 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

Learn more about work safety with WorkSafeBC

For immediate assistance, contact the BC Public Service Agency 24-hour emergency safety line: 1 250 952-0911

This number is for employees of the BC Provincial Government and their managers only.  If you are not employed by the BC Provincial Government please call WorkSafe BC at 1.888.621.SAFE (7233)