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River East Transcona School Division
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Right to Refuse Dangerous Work

 Safe Operating Procedure

PURPOSE

 

To establish a guiding procedure to investigate refusals of dangerous work claims at River East Transcona School Division (RETSD) that meets or exceeds all municipal, federal and provincial legislated workplace safety and health program requirements.

 

A work refusal and corrective action procedure must be defined and documented for compliance as part of Element 9, develop a procedure to investigate incidents, dangerous occurrences and refusals to work, for the effective development and implementation of a workplace safety and health program under Manitoba legislation.

 

SCOPE

 

This safe operating procedure and associated documents establish a procedure specifically for dangerous work refusals for all workers at RETSD. Procedures for investigating incidents and dangerous occurrences can be found in Safety Incident Reporting, Response, Investigation and Corrective Action.

 

RESPONSIBILITY

 

All Workers

 

All workers have the right and responsibility to refuse dangerous work.

 

DEFINITIONS

 

Hazardous Work or Condition

 

Generally means known hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions that generally are part of the work process or work environment, and managed by engineering controls, procedural controls or use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

 

Dangerous Work or Condition

 

Generally means work involving health and safety risks that are not normally associated with the job.  These situations are typically where, if the work were allowed to continue, there could be immediate and adverse health effects or injury to the person performing the work or to others at the worksite area.

 

Note: Any worker at RETSD that believes work to be dangerous to them or others at the work site may refuse to perform the work.

 

DANGEROUS WORK REFUSAL GENERAL PROTOCOLS

 

Any worker at RETSD that believes work to be dangerous to them or others at the work site may refuse to perform the work.

 

The worker is required to report his refusal to work immediately to their supervisor or person in charge.

The work refusal form to be used is WSHMS-FRM-001 Safety Concern or Incident Report.

 

When the RETSD supervisor or person in charge receives a report of a refusal to work, the supervisor (or their designate), the worker who refused to work (or their designate), shall inspect the work site and take any actions possible to remedy the dangerous condition. If required to help remedy the situation in question, a worker member of the site safety team may also be included in the work site inspection as an added resource.

 

If the dangerous work condition may not be remedied, the worker has the right to continue to refuse to perform the work believed to be dangerous. RETSD will not assign another worker to perform the work, unless that worker has been informed of the first worker's refusal to perform the work and the reason for same.

 

If the reported dangerous condition is determined not to pose imminent danger, the employer may complete the investigation report noting same. If the worker disagrees with the conclusion of an investigation, they have the right, and are encouraged by RETSD, to contact the provincial health and safety compliance officer who, upon receiving notice of a worker exercising their right to "refuse dangerous work" will complete an investigation. 

 

RETSD will abide by all provincial legislation in ensuring that a worker's right to refuse dangerous work is upheld and does not compromise the worker's employment with RETSD.

 

Role of Supervisors or People in Charge

 

  • Supervisors are responsible for assigning work in the workplace.

 

  • The supervisor, under Manitoba law, is directly responsible and accountable for ensuring a safe work environment for workers under their direction.

 

  • The supervisor in charge of assigning the work is the key contact for addressing safety concerns in the workplace. 

 

  • RETSD protocol for raising and addressing safety concerns is founded on the principle that the supervisor responsible for assigning the work is in the best position to quickly and adequately address safety hazards or dangers.

 

Role of Workers

 

  • Generally, for hazardous work conditions, workers are to report safety hazards and concerns to the supervisor responsible for assigning the work or their immediate supervisor. These concerns could be on your behalf, or the behalf of any other worker.

 

  • The supervisor that receives the report is required to take immediate action to investigate and resolve the issue if they are the supervisor assigning the work or, communicate the concern to the supervisor assigning the work immediately for investigation and resolution.

 

  • Generally, in a dangerous work situation where, if the work were allowed to continue, there would be immediate and serious health effects or serious injury to the person performing the work or others in the worksite area, the worker should speak directly to the person performing the dangerous work and express their concern in a clear, concise manner, tell them to stop, then immediately report their concern to the supervisor responsible for assigning the work or their immediate supervisor.

 

  • The supervisor that receives the report is required to take immediate action to investigate and resolve the issue if they are the supervisor assigning the work or, communicate the concern to the supervisor assigning the work immediately for investigation and resolution.

 

RIGHT TO REFUSE DANGEROUS WORK PROCEDURE

 

All employees have the right to refuse dangerous work. These steps must be followed in a dangerous work refusal situation:

 

Step 1 of 3

 

Any worker presented with or observing dangerous work should stop the work, report your concern immediately to a supervisor. The supervisor shall call the RETSD Safety and Officer to report the work refusal. The RETSD Safety and Health Officer will in turn call the chairperson of the divisional workplace safety and health committee to report that a work refusal has been received.

 

At this point, the worker and or the worker raising the concern and the supervisor(s) involved must attempt to resolve the concern. The supervisor that assigned the work shall determine, based on the information provided, if the situation is hazardous or dangerous. Engaging the services of available site safety team representative or designate at this step is required.

 

If the supervisor determines it is dangerous work based on the information provided, they will stop the work immediately until a solution can be reached to eliminate the dangerous situation. If a hazardous situation exists, the supervisor will exercise their discretion to decide if work activities should stop during the work site inspection, or if work should be allowed to continue as the inspection and any corrective measures are introduced.

 

If the supervisor determines that there is no danger or hazard, they shall state their position to the reporting worker and site safety representative.

 

If the worker refusing still believes the work is dangerous, proceed to step 2.

 

Step 2 of 3

 

If the supervisor, worker, and site safety representative cannot resolve the concern, the divisional safety incident response team must be called to inspect the workplace and to resolve the situation.

 

If the dangerous condition is not adequately remedied after the inspections proceed to step 3.

 

Step 3 of 3

 

Any of the persons present during the inspection in step 2 may notify a provincial safety and health officer of the refusal to work and the reasons for it. The provincial workplace safety and health officer will investigate the matter and decide whether the job situation or task the worker has refused constitutes a danger to the safety or health of the worker or any other worker or person at the workplace. The officer will provide a written decision to the refusing worker, each co-chairperson, or the representative, and the employer.

 

Raising a Safety Concern in a Hazardous Work Situation

 

The steps as listed previously must be followed. A hazardous situation may not be a dangerous situation.

 

Conditions that generally are part of the work process or work environment are managed by engineering controls, procedural controls or use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

 

The goal of reporting and investigation must be focused on addressing and resolving the concern.

 

Workers generally do not have the authority to:

 

  • Shut down, impede, obstruct or slow down work unless they do truly believe that the work is dangerous to themselves or others.

  • Disrupt other workers not involved in the investigation or work in question.

  • Involve additional employer resources that do not need to be involved outside of the reporting and investigation processes stated above.

  • By-pass a supervisor that is present on the work site and goes directly to other management representatives.

 

Safety concerns raised in bad faith are in violation of divisional rules (Code of Conduct) for both safety and conduct and ultimately interfere with the orderly operations of the Division.

 

COMMUNICATION

 

A combination of hard-copy postings, distributions and electronic posting will be used to communicate safety and health program information within RETSD.

 

TRAINING

 

All stakeholders shall be trained to their required level of involvement in the WSHMS to become familiar with its structure, organization, and how to look up and access information both electronically and in hard copy form through:

 

  • New employee orientation, employee manuals or employment information packages

 

  • Return to work or remedial programs, as required on an individual basis

 

  • Planned ongoing training through team meetings, individual coaching or other methods as developed or adopted

 

ENFORCEMENT

 

Ultimately, the superintendent shall be responsible for the sustainability of the WSHMS, and shall enforce compliance to standards at a divisional level.

 

Workplace safety and health management system compliance shall be managed through the application of performance management and progressive discipline policies and procedures.

 

Worker failure to comply with provisions of the RETSD safety program may lead to discipline, up to and including discharge from employment and / or other remedies available at law.

 

 

 Document Number

WSHMS-09-SOP-021-01

 Document Control

Prepared:

Divisional Safety and Health Officer

Controlled:

Divisional Safety and Health Officer

Reviewed:

Divisional Workplace Safety and Health Committee

Issued:

Director of Human Resources

Approved:

Director of Human Resources

Origin:

February 23, 2010

Last Reviewed:

August 10, 2018

Last Revised:

August 10, 2018

Next Review On or Before:

August 10, 2021

 

 

 References

Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act or equivalent legislation as applicable

 

Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation or equivalent legislation as applicable

 

Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation Part 02 General Duties

 

Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Program Element 09 - Safety Incident Reporting, Investigation and Corrective Action

 

All other associated and applicable workplace safety and health management system documents