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Canada Labour Code

Version of section 128 from 2003-01-01 to 2014-10-30:


Marginal note:Refusal to work if danger

  •  (1) Subject to this section, an employee may refuse to use or operate a machine or thing, to work in a place or to perform an activity, if the employee while at work has reasonable cause to believe that

    • (a) the use or operation of the machine or thing constitutes a danger to the employee or to another employee;

    • (b) a condition exists in the place that constitutes a danger to the employee; or

    • (c) the performance of the activity constitutes a danger to the employee or to another employee.

  • Marginal note:No refusal permitted in certain dangerous circumstances

    (2) An employee may not, under this section, refuse to use or operate a machine or thing, to work in a place or to perform an activity if

    • (a) the refusal puts the life, health or safety of another person directly in danger; or

    • (b) the danger referred to in subsection (1) is a normal condition of employment.

  • Marginal note:Employees on ships and aircraft

    (3) If an employee on a ship or an aircraft that is in operation has reasonable cause to believe that

    • (a) the use or operation of a machine or thing on the ship or aircraft constitutes a danger to the employee or to another employee,

    • (b) a condition exists in a place on the ship or aircraft that constitutes a danger to the employee, or

    • (c) the performance of an activity on the ship or aircraft by the employee constitutes a danger to the employee or to another employee,

    the employee shall immediately notify the person in charge of the ship or aircraft of the circumstances of the danger and the person in charge shall, as soon as is practicable after having been so notified, having regard to the safe operation of the ship or aircraft, decide whether the employee may discontinue the use or operation of the machine or thing or cease working in that place or performing that activity and shall inform the employee accordingly.

  • Marginal note:No refusal permitted in certain cases

    (4) An employee who, under subsection (3), is informed that the employee may not discontinue the use or operation of a machine or thing or cease to work in a place or perform an activity shall not, while the ship or aircraft on which the employee is employed is in operation, refuse under this section to use or operate the machine or thing, work in that place or perform that activity.

  • Marginal note:When ship or aircraft in operation

    (5) For the purposes of subsections (3) and (4),

    • (a) a ship is in operation from the time it casts off from a wharf in a Canadian or foreign port until it is next secured alongside a wharf in Canada; and

    • (b) an aircraft is in operation from the time it first moves under its own power for the purpose of taking off from a Canadian or foreign place of departure until it comes to rest at the end of its flight to its first destination in Canada.

  • Marginal note:Report to employer

    (6) An employee who refuses to use or operate a machine or thing, work in a place or perform an activity under subsection (1), or who is prevented from acting in accordance with that subsection by subsection (4), shall report the circumstances of the matter to the employer without delay.

  • Marginal note:Select a remedy

    (7) Where an employee makes a report under subsection (6), the employee, if there is a collective agreement in place that provides for a redress mechanism in circumstances described in this section, shall inform the employer, in the prescribed manner and time if any is prescribed, whether the employee intends to exercise recourse under the agreement or this section. The selection of recourse is irrevocable unless the employer and employee agree otherwise.

  • Marginal note:Employer to take immediate action

    (8) If the employer agrees that a danger exists, the employer shall take immediate action to protect employees from the danger. The employer shall inform the work place committee or the health and safety representative of the matter and the action taken to resolve it.

  • Marginal note:Continued refusal

    (9) If the matter is not resolved under subsection (8), the employee may, if otherwise entitled to under this section, continue the refusal and the employee shall without delay report the circumstances of the matter to the employer and to the work place committee or the health and safety representative.

  • Marginal note:Investigation of report

    (10) An employer shall, immediately after being informed of the continued refusal under subsection (9), investigate the matter in the presence of the employee who reported it and of

    • (a) at least one member of the work place committee who does not exercise managerial functions;

    • (b) the health and safety representative; or

    • (c) if no person is available under paragraph (a) or (b), at least one person from the work place who is selected by the employee.

  • Marginal note:If more than one report

    (11) If more than one employee has made a report of a similar nature under subsection (9), those employees may designate one employee from among themselves to be present at the investigation.

  • Marginal note:Absence of employee

    (12) An employer may proceed with an investigation in the absence of the employee who reported the matter if that employee or a person designated under subsection (11) chooses not to be present.

  • Marginal note:Continued refusal to work

    (13) If an employer disputes a matter reported under subsection (9) or takes steps to protect employees from the danger, and the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the danger continues to exist, the employee may continue to refuse to use or operate the machine or thing, work in that place or perform that activity. On being informed of the continued refusal, the employer shall notify a health and safety officer.

  • Marginal note:Notification of steps to eliminate danger

    (14) An employer shall inform the work place committee or the health and safety representative of any steps taken by the employer under subsection (13).

  • R.S., 1985, c. L-2, s. 128
  • R.S., 1985, c. 9 (1st Supp.), s. 4
  • 2000, c. 20, s. 10
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