Have you been asked to do something at work that could hurt you or a co-worker?
You have the right to say NO to unsafe work* – without getting into trouble or being punished.
If so, here is what to do…
Talk to other workers.
Tell them why you’re worried and want to use your right to refuse.
(Many voices are better than one.)
Tell your supervisor or employer. Explain the hazard. Say you want to use your right to refuse to do a task because you believe it’s dangerous to you or other workers.
The employer must investigate. They must do it with you and someone who represents workers for health and safety issues*.
The employer can fix the hazard. Or they may disagree with you, and say there’s no danger.
Employers must not punish you in any way for refusing.
If they do, call us or legal aid.
* This includes danger from equipment, tools, workplace conditions or violence.
** That person is a worker health and safety representative, joint health and safety committee member or someone that workers choose.
Stay in a safe place during working hours until the inspector makes their decision; you could do another job.
You must be paid for your time, at your usual rate.
For more information about refusing dangerous work:
Local Legal Aid Clinic
Find the nearest one:
Ask to speak to someone in your language
Community Groups can help too
The information above is also available in a wallet-size format for printing and carrying with you.