As a worker, you have 3 fundamental rights under Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act:
The Right to Know
You have the right to know about workplace hazards and to have access to health and safety information on your worksite. Under the OHS Act, your employer is responsible for:
- Performing a worksite hazard assessment.
- Eliminating or controlling hazards on the worksite. Your employer must also provide you with information about those controls and any relevant work practices and procedures.
- Ensuring you have the skills and training required to do your work safely.
The Right to Participate
You have the right to be involved in health and safety discussions, and to participate in decision-making processes concerning matters that affect your health and safety at work. Under the OHS Act, your employer is responsible for:
- Involving workers when assessing hazards on the worksite and in health and safety discussions.
- Investigating any health and safety incidents.
- Responding to reports of dangerous work situations.
The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work
It is a workers right to refuse unsafe work. You have the right to refuse work if you have reasonable grounds to believe that it puts you or your crew in harm's way. While it's up to you to promptly report your refusal and the reasons for it to your employer or supervisor, your employer is responsible for:
- Investigating and eliminating the danger.
- Ensuring you're paid the same wages and benefits, without penalty.
- Assigning you to other work until the problem has been investigated and fixed or assigning someone else to do the work if they determine that no danger exists. They must advise other workers of the refusal and the reason for it, and they must make those workers aware of their own right to refuse the work.
- Fixing the dangerous condition immediately or preparing a written report of your refusal to work, their investigation, and any actions taken. Your employer must provide you with a copy of the report and provide a copy to the health and safety committee or representative, if one exists. The report can't contain any personal information about the worker
If your employer doesn't agree that there's a danger, or if you can't agree on a way to eliminate the danger, consider consulting with your health and safety committee or representative. If this isn't an option or you can't resolve the issue, contact the Alberta OHS Contact Center
Remember that the OHS Act protects you from any form of retaliation or disciplinary action for exercising your right to reporting unsafe work practices including termination, layoff, demotion, transfer, withholding wages, or change in job location. Learn more about your rights by visiting the
OHS services and information hub