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Process for refusing unsafe work – COVID-19 update - BCGEU

To: BCIT Support Staff
Re: Process for refusing unsafe work – COVID-19 update

As our province continues to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, your bargaining chair has been in daily discussions with your employer to deal with issues that have arisen as a result.

We are in uncharted territory, but your union is committed to keeping your worksites as safe as possible while areas of BCIT remain open.

If you feel that the work you are performing is unsafe, you or any other member can exercise your right to refuse unsafe work using the following process:

       Step 1: Inform your immediate supervisor or employer you are refusing unsafe
       work as per Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) regulation 3.12. The employer
       must investigate your concerns and make it safe for you. If the employer
       disagrees with your belief that the work is unsafe, go to step 2.

      Step 2: The employer must include a union rep or OH&S rep to investigate your
      concerns. If no rep or OH&S person available, then the worker gets to choose
      another worker to assess the situation. If the worker still believes the work is
      unsafe, go to step 3.

      Step 3: The worker and employer together call WCB to inform them of
      a refusal of unsafe work. WCB is expected to investigate without undue delay and
      assess and make their determination. In the meantime, the employer can assign
      you to a different task while the investigation in ongoing. Only when WCB says it is
      safe to resume the refused work should you carry out the work. 

If you are unsure if you should be refusing unsafe work, contact your designated steward with specific locations and concerns so that they can advise you on your next steps.

Below is a list of stewards and the department(s) which they will be representing during the pandemic. Ensure that you inform the steward assigned to your area of any refusals to provide you with assistance and a witness, or contact the OH&S Officer in your area for support during the process.

Steward:          Contact Information:        Departments: 


More information on the process can be found here: