Rights and Responsibilities

Right to Refuse

It is your right to refuse to do any activity if you believe that the activity would create an undue hazard to yourself or others. Under current regulations all employees must be trained and have hazard information on all materials they work with or are exposed to.

You can not be discriminated against for reporting hazardous conditions or refusing to work in hazardous conditions. You can not be subjected to disciplinary action because you have acted in compliance with WorkSafeBC regulations.

  1. If work is refused the supervisor will investigate the matter and either a) ensure the unsafe condition is remedied without delay; or b) if in his/her opinion the report is not valid then he/she shall inform the person who made the report.
  2. If the situation is not resolved then the supervisor must investigate the work conditions in the presence of the person reporting the condition as well as a member of the Occupational Health & Safety Committee or a member of the trade union representing the worker (or if neither are available any other reasonably available worker selected by the complainant).
  3. If the matter is not resolved at this point both the supervisor and the complainant must notify an officer of WorkSafeBC who shall investigate the matter without undue delay and issue whatever orders he/she deems necessary.
  4. The supervisor may not assign the work to another person without informing them that the work has been refused, why the work was refused, and the right to refuse the work.
  5. A temporary assignment to alternative work (with no loss of pay) can be made and this assignment shall not constitute disciplinary action.

It is expected that most matters will be resolved at points (1) or (2).

Roles and Responsibilities

The University

It is the responsibility of the University acting through administrative heads to:

  • provide a safe, healthy and secure working environment.
  • ensure regular inspections are made and take action to improve unsafe conditions.
  • ensure the health, safety and personal security considerations form an integral part of the design, construction, purchase and maintenance of all buildings, equipment and work processes.
  • provide first aid facilities where appropriate.
  • ensure compliance with WorkSafeBC and other applicable legislation.
  • establish departmental or building safety committees.
  • support safety committee and supervisors in implementing effective health, safety and security programs.
  • communicate with university and affected groups about events or situations when potentially harmful conditions arise or are discovered.
  • ensure adequate resources are available to implement appropriate procedures.

The Supervisor

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to:

  • formulate specific safety rules and safe work procedures for their area of supervision.
  • ensure that all employees are aware of safety practices and follow procedures.
  • provide training in the safe operation of equipment.
  • inspect their areas regularly for hazardous conditions.
  • promptly correct unsafe work practices or hazardous conditions.
  • respond to any concerns about personal security or safety. To report and investigate any accidents, injuries, unsafe conditions or security concerns which have occurred in their area.
  • participate, if requested, on departmental or building safety committees.

Individual Students, Staff and Faculty

It is the responsibility of individual students, staff and faculty to:

  • observe all safety rules and procedures established by supervisory staff, administrative heads and the University.
  • promptly report all hazards, accidents, injuries, unsafe conditions or security issues to your supervisor or administrative head of unit.
  • use properly and care for adequately, any personal protective equipment provided.
  • be safety conscious in all activities.
  • participate, if elected or appointed, in departmental or building safety committees.
  • anyone who gives direction to someone else on how to do a procedure, then in terms of liability, they are a supervisor.