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Right to Refuse

Last Updated: June 2019

Prepared by CCOHS

Listed below are selected sections of legislation which refer to the employee's "right to refuse" work that is dangerous to their or a co-workers health or safety. Exercising the right to refuse typically involved setting in motion a series of steps to resolve the situation. These steps, interpretation and enforcement vary by jurisdiction. Where additional information is required, the Canadian Governmental Occupational Health & Safety Departments (http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/information/govt.html) should be contacted.

This list is prepared by CCOHS as part of the Canadian enviroOSH Legislation service . This service is a comprehensive and easy to search compilation of the full text of Canadian health, safety and environmental legislation and critical guidelines and codes of practice from all jurisdictions. All the legislation is compiled into one convenient location and is regularly updated with amendments highlighted.

Subscribers to this service and paid learners of the CCOHS e-courses have access to the full text of the legislation listed in this document. To become a subscriber please contact Client Services .

OSH Answers

OH&S Legislation in Canada - Basic Responsibilities

Canada

Canada Labour Code, Part II, R.S.C. 1985, c. L-2

Sections 128 to 131 , Refusal to work if danger

Alberta

Occupational Health And Safety Act, S.A. 2017, c. O‑2.1

Section 31, Right to refuse dangerous work

British Columbia

As made under the Workers Compensation Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 492

Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, B.C. Reg. 296/97

Refusal of Unsafe Work

Section 3.12, Procedure for refusal

Section 3.13, No disciplinary action

Manitoba

Workplace Safety and Health Act, C.C.S.M. c. W210

Section 43, Right to refuse dangerous work

Section 43.1, Report of dangerous condition to an officer

Section 43, Worker entitled to be paid despite refusal

Section 43, Employer not to make worker work in unsafe conditions

New Brunswick

Occupational Health and Safety Act, A.N.B. 1983, c. O-0.2

Section 19, Employee's right to refuse to do any act

Section 20, Duty to report and take or recommend remedial action

Section 21, Protection of employee's right

Section 22, Protection of employee's right

Section 23, Protection of employee's right

Newfoundland and Labrador

Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.N.L.1990, c. O-3

Section 45, Right to refuse to work

Section 46, Report to supervisor

Section 47, Report to division

Section 48, Duty of worker

Section 49, Discriminatory action prohibited

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2012, N.L.R. 5/12

Part I, General

Section 5, Right to refuse work

Northwest Territories

Safety Act, R.S.N.W.T. 1988, c. S-1

Section 13, Definition of unusual danger

Mine Health and Safety Act, S.N.W.T, 1994, c. 25

Section 18, Right to refuse work

Mine Health and Safety Regulations, R-125-95

Part IV, Right to Refuse Work

Nova Scotia

Occupational Health and Safety Act, S.N.S. 1996, c. 7

Sections 43 and 44, Right to Refuse Work

Nunavut

Safety Act R.S.N.W.T., 1988, c. S-1

Section 13, Definition of unusual danger

Mine Health and Safety Act (Nunavut), S.N.W.T, 1994, c. 25

Section 18, Right to refuse work

Mine Health and Safety Regulations, R-125-95

Part IV, Right to Refuse Work

Ontario

Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1

Part V, Right to Refuse or to Stop Work Where Health or Safety in Danger

Prince Edward Island

Occupational Health and Safety Act,R.S.P.E.I. 1988, c. O-1.01

Sections 28 to 31, Refusal to Work

Quebec

Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety, R.S.Q., c. S-2.1

Sections 12 to 31

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, c. S-15.1

Division 5, Right to Refuse Dangerous Work; Discriminatory Action

Sections 3-31 to 3-37

Yukon

Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.Y. 2002, c. 159

Hazardous Work

Sections 15 to 17