The Right to Refuse Work Manitoba 

Workers are required to report unsafe working conditions to their employer, supervisor, or any other individual in charge. Workers have the legal right to refuse unsafe work if they believe that the reason for the refusal could pose a risk to their safety or health. Manitoba Safety and Health (WSH) may be required to investigate the work refusal if the employer and worker cannot come to an agreeable resolution. 

Work refusal investigations 

Once WSH is notified of a work refusal, a Safety and Health Officer will be assigned to the case. Where applicable, the officer will visit the workplace, and the following should occur: 

  • The Safety and Health Officer will meet with the worker who refused the work, the supervisor, the workplace safety and health committee co-chairs or rep (if there is one) to resolve the issue. 
  • If a resolution cannot be determined, the SHO will determine whether the reported work or task that has been refused is dangerous to the worker and/or the workplace as a whole. 
  • If the SHO finds no risk to safety and health, they will explain their conclusion to the worker and inform them that their work refusal is no longer valid. 
  • If the SHO finds that the reported work is dangerous, they may issue an order to remedy the issue. 

Associated legislation 

In Manitoba, an employee’s right to refuse is guaranteed in accordance with the Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSA)  and the Workplace Hazardous Products Information Systems Application of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation

Refer to the following sections from the WSA for more information: 

  • Section 5: Duties of Workers 
  • Section 7.5: Duty to Provide Required Information
  • Section 40: Workplace Safety and Health Committees and Representatives
  • Section 43(1), Right to Refuse Dangerous Work

Still need help? 

Need help understanding an employee’s right to refuse? Up to date on your responsibilities as an employer throughout this process? Call Health & Safety Help today at 1 (204) 201-1614 and an expert advisor will be happy to help you.