The Government of Canada issued a special advisory on September 13, 2022 to remind employees and employers of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to refusing to work in dangerous situations. This advisory circular is also meant to raise awareness about the definition of “danger” that appears in the Canada Labour Code (CLC), Part II.
“Danger” means any hazard, condition or activity that could reasonably be expected to be an imminent or serious threat to the life or health of a person exposed to it before the hazard or condition can be corrected or the activity altered.
While the new advisory is specifically directed at air operators, it is a good reminder to everyone who works under the Canada Labour Code to be vigilant in their workplace and that we always have the ability and the right to refuse dangerous work.
Here is the pertinent section from the CLC:
Refusal to work if danger
- 128(1) Subject to this section, an employee may refuse to use or operate a machine or thing, to work in a place or to perform an activity, if the employee while at work has reasonable cause to believe that
- (a)the use or operation of the machine or thing constitutes a danger to the employee or to another employee;
- (b)a condition exists in the place that constitutes a danger to the employee; or
- (c)the performance of the activity constitutes a danger to the employee or to another employee.