As an employee, you have a key role to play in preventing work-related incidents and illnesses. Employers must work hard to do their part in protecting your health and safety, and Part II of the Canada Labour Code defines your rights and duties as an employee.
You are provided rights under the Canadian Labor Code:
- You have the right to know, and be informed of known or foreseeable hazards in the workplace and to be provided with the information, instructions, training, and supervision necessary to protect your health and safety. In addition, you are given the right to have access to government or employer reports related to the health and safety of employees through your policy health and safety committee, workplace health and safety committee or health and safety representative.
2. You have the right to participate. Employees have the right to participate in identifying and correcting work-related health and safety concerns.
3.You have the right to refuse work if you have reasonable cause to believe that:
- your workplace presents a danger to you;
- you feel inadequately qualified to complete the task;
- the use or operation of a machine or apparatus presents a danger to you or to another employee; and
- the performance of an activity constitutes a danger to you or to another employee.
You also have duties with respect to your health and safety and that of your colleagues, defined in the Canadian Labour Code, including:
- Use all safety materials, equipment, devices, and clothing that is provided by the employer and are intended to protect employees;
- Follow defined procedures relating to the health and safety of employees;
- Follow all instructions provided by the employer concerning the health and safety of employees;
- Co-operate with any person carrying out a duty or function required by the Code;
- Report to the employer anything or circumstance that is likely to be hazardous to employees or any other person in the workplace;
- Report to the employer all work-related accidents, occupational diseases, or other hazardous occurrences that have caused injury to you or any other person;
- Report to the employer any situation you believe to be a contravention of Part II of the Code by the employer, another employee, or any other person;
- Comply with every oral or written direction given by a health and safety officer or an appeals officer; and
- Respond in writing to a health and safety officer’s direction or report when requested to do so by the health and safety officer.
You must be careful and take the necessary precautions to ensure your own health and safety, and that of any colleagues who may be affected by your work or activities.
As a safety professional I care for your health and safety, and want to see you go home to your family’s healthy and safe every day, so should your employer, and most importantly so should you!
No your rights, and stay safe!