guide for when you have a work accident
or a professional disease.
The right to refuse work
A worker has the right to refuse to do any given work if has
good reason to believe that this work is dangerous, either to
himself or to another person. Nevertheless, he may not exercise
this right if his refusal will endanger another person, or if
the conditions of the task are considered a normal part of the
When a worker decides to exercise his right to refuse, here is
what he must do:
The worker must advise his employeur or immediate superior as
soon as possible, and give him the reasons for his refusal.
He must then remain available on the premises to do other work
that his employer may assign to him, or that he is capable of
The employer must then ask for a meeting with the Safety
Representative so that they can examine the situation
together, and decide on any corrective measures which may be
taken. If a Safety Representative is not available, the employer
may ask for a meeting with a Union Representative, or
another employee designated by the worker who has exercised the
If the employer and the Safety Representative both deem that the
refusal was justified, the necessary corrective measures should
be taken before the employee can resume the work.
If they deem that there is really no risk, the employee may
return to his work, or if he persists in his refusal, he may ask
for an intervention by a C.S.S.T. Inspector.
If the employer and the Safety Representative cannot agree on
the existance of a danger, nor on the corrections to be made,
either one of them may ask for the intervention of a C.S.S.T.
The Inspector's decision should be made on site, even if the
parties disagree. This decision, nevertheless, may be contested
on appeal at the revision office.
In certain cases, the employer may ask another employee to
replace the one who has exercised his right to refse. He must,
however, inform the other employee of the refusal, and of the
reasons which were given. This employee, in turn, may also
refuse to do the work.
The worker who exercises his right to refuse continues to
collect his salary. Even if he refuses to execute a task, he is,
in effect, considered to be on the job. Also, any other
employees affected by the work stoppage will continue to be paid.
However, they also must accept to do other work which their
employer may assign them, as long as they are able to do the
No sanction will be taken against an employee who has exercised
his right to refuse, unless he has abused this right.
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