The New Brunswick Occupational Health and Safety Act gives employees three basic rights to ensure their safety at work.
Definition of employee
(a) a person employed at a place of employment, or
(b) a person at a place of employment for any purpose in connection to the place of employment
No matter what job responsibilities you may have, all employees have the following three fundamental rights:
All employees have a right to receive the training needed to do the job safely. All employees, new, transferred or experienced, should be made aware of:
If at any time you are unsure about a task on the job or are concerned about your personal safety or the safety of others, you should talk to your supervisor about receiving additional on-the-job training.
All employees have a right to participate in solving health and safety problems and in the identification and control of workplace hazards. In workplaces with 20 or more employees, joint health and safety committees (JHSCs) are formed to address health and safety concerns. It is a good idea for employees to know who the workplace JHSC representatives are in case you have a question or concern related to workplace health or safety.
All employees have the right to refuse work they believe is dangerous to their health or safety, or to that of others. If you are unsure about your safety at work, you should take the following steps:
Report the safety concern to your supervisor. If the problem is resolved, return to work. If not, then:
Report the matter to the joint health and safety committee or to the safety representative. If it is still not resolved, then:
Call WorkSafeNB and explain the situation. Return to work only when the situation is no longer dangerous.
In all cases, you should stay at work until your shift is finished.
Certain conditions apply, and all those involved in a work refusal must follow a process. The following documents outline these conditions and the process, and will help answer any questions on the right to refuse:
Work Refusal Flow Chart
Sample Right to Refuse Form
Right to Refuse Dangerous Work (pocket pamphlet)
Information for New Workers
Occupational Health and Safety Act (Sections 19 to 27)
An arbitration, generally, is a forum designed to settle disputes arising when an employee complains that an employer or union has discriminated against them for trying to exercise a fundamental right under the Act. For more information, please refer to the arbitration section of this website.