Knowing your rights will make your workplace safer
Knowing your rights at work are vital to ensuring everyone makes it home healthy and safe each day. Everyone has three basic rights under The Saskatchewan Employment Act and Federal Occupational Health and Safety.
- The right to know the hazards at work and how to control them;
- The right to participate in finding and controlling workplace hazards; and
- The right to refuse work that you believe is unusually dangerous.
Right to Know
You have the right to get information about hazards in the workplace. If your employer doesn't tell you, ask. Ensure you know where the potential hazards are at your workplace.
Hazards are anything that has the potential to cause an injury or illness.
Right to Participate
Become involved in health and safety at work. Every Saskatchewan workplace with 10 or more workers MUST have a worker/management occupational health committee (OHC). High-hazard workplaces with five to nine workers must have an occupational health and safety representative (OHS representative).
Right to Refuse
You have the right to refuse to do any specific job or task which you have reasonable grounds to believe is unusually dangerous. The danger may be to you or to any other person.
To read more about your three basic rights follow this link for the
Saskatchewan Employment Act
To read more about your three basic rights follow this link for
Federal Occupational Health and Safety
Steps for Refusing Unusually Dangerous Work
If your supervisor/employer asks you to perform a specific job or task that you have grounds to believe is unusually dangerous, follow these steps:
- Tell your employer/supervisor that you are refusing work because of a health or safety concern.
- Do not leave the worksite without your employer's permission.
- Contact your occupational health committee (OHC) or OHS representative if you cannot resolve the concern with the employer/supervisor.
- Your OHC will investigate the refusal, meet and vote to determine if you have reasonable grounds to refuse the work. (The vote must be unanimous for or against the refusal.)
- If the concern cannot be resolved within your workplace, contact an occupational health officer at the Occupational Health and Safety Division.
- The officer will investigate the refusal and rule on the matter.
Your place of employment may have its own procedures for refusing unusually dangerous work. Ask your supervisor, occupational health committee, occupational health and safety representative, and/or union steward for information.