January 16, 2023 - Did You Know...

You Have the Right to Refuse Unsafe or Unhealthy Work?

Subject to The Workplace Heath and Safety Act Sections 43(1) to 43.3(2), all workers in Manitoba have the right to refuse unsafe or unhealthy work – that includes ATU 1505 members!  You cannot be disciplined or threatened for exercising your rights as per Section 42 of The Workplace Heath and Safety Act 

Work Refusal Procedure:

  1. If you have reasonable grounds to believe that work or doing particular work is a danger to your safety or health or the safety or health of others. 

  2. Immediate report your refusal and reasons why to your employer, immediate supervisor, or anyone else in charge at the workplace. 

  3. The employer, in your presense, or another person representing you, must immediately inspect the dangerous condition immediately and take action to remedy the condition. 

  4. You may continue to refuse the work until the condition is remedied and no other worker is to do the job unless they are informed, in writing by the employer, of the situation of worker refusal and the reason why, in the employers' opinion, the work is not a danger.

  5. Once an inspection is complete, and if the dangerous condition is not resolved, any of the persons present during the inspection may notifiy a Provincial Health and Safety Officer: Phone: 204-945-3446Toll-free: 1-866-888-8186 After hours: 204-945-0581E-mail: [email protected]

  6. The Provincial Health and Safety Officer shall investigate the matter and decide if the work is safe or not. 

  7. The Provincial Health and Safety Officer shall give a written report to you, your employer, the co-chairperson of the health and safety committee or representative, and the director of their decision. 

If at any time, because you have exercised your right to refuse, you are told to go home, DO NOT leave the job site.  Contact the Provincial Health and Safety Officer immediately and tell them where you will be so that they can speak with you.  Remember you are only refusing to carry out that particular work which you believe is dangerous to your health or safety until it has been remedied to your satisfaction.  If you are offered alternate work and it is not dangerous to your health and safety, you must perform those duties. 

Also, if you do exercise your rights under Section 43 of the Act, you are entitled to the same wages and benefits you are entitled to receive had to continued to work, and your employer may temporarily re-assign you to alternative work while the refusal is being investigated. 

Know You Know!