Every employee has the right to work in safe environments, without having to sacrifice their health and/or safety in order to do their job. Failure to abide by the appropriate norms may cause employers to face prosecution and substantial fines. For example an employee who works at a height is entitled to work on an adequately secured platform with the appropriate protective equipment and tools. In the event the employee falls, the employee may seek compensation from the Workers Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). At the same time, the Crown may also charge the employer under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Employee Should Report the Hazardous Conditions
An employer is required to provide information, training and education to employees about methods of operating dangerous equipment, handling dangerous and hazardous materials and violence and harassment in the workplace. Where an employee sees or experiences unsafe/hazardous working conditions, they can report this to their employer or supervisor. If an employer does not respond to fix these hazardous or dangerous conditions, they may be subject to sanctions. Further, where an employer terminates an employee in response to a complaint, it is an illegal act and is known as a reprisal.
Employee Has a Right to Refuse Performing Unsafe Work
In Ontario, the Occupational Health and Safety Act protects employees against an employer’s reprisal for exercising their right to refuse to complete unsafe work. An employee has the options of either suing their employer for constructive dismissal or filing a complaint under the Occupational Health and Safety legislation, where the reprisal has resulted in a termination of employment.
Employer’s to Ensure Safe Working Conditions
Employers have to understand that employees have the right to refuse unsafe work without any fear of retaliation. In addition to the obvious need to avoid human tragedy, the legal ramifications stemming from the employer’s failure to secure safe working conditions may be severe.
How Can Law Wise Help?
LAW WISE employment lawyers can help you understand what constitutes a hazardous environment, dangerous working conditions, violence or harassment in the workplace, or if you have experienced an occupational health and safety issue in your workplace, CONTACT US to discuss your concerns.
Call us at +1 647 948 7819 today!