Employers must take reasonable care to maintain a healthy, safe workplace at all times under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, including during a pandemic. However, at the same time, workers have the right to refuse work if they believe it will endanger themselves or other workers. This is a basic worker right entrenched in our prevention system.
The Workplace Safety Blog
While the right to refuse unsafe work is always a possibility, that is all the more reason for employers to keep their workplaces safe to ensure such refusals are ultimately short-lived.
Workplace Safety Group is open for business in a preventative capacity, ensuring that our clients who are essential to our supply chains continue to have access to a quality training provider. This allows us to meet our customers’ demands pertaining to training alternate or new staff members to maintain their critical operations as they struggle with staffing challenges under rapidly changing conditions. It is vital that we continue to provide resources to these organizations.
“Discriminatory action against any persons or communities because of an association with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), perceived or otherwise, is prohibited by the Ontario Human Rights Code. The coronavirus is not isolated to people of any particular ethnic origin, place of origin or race.”
Many workers experience workplace harassment - demeaning, abusive, or authoritarian behavior perpetuated by coworkers or even employers. Yet studies show that less than one in 10 victims of workplace harassment let the offending person know that they don't like it.
It is no longer acceptable to simply build a safety management system with the limited purpose of meeting regulatory compliance. For an effective and successful health and safety program, employers must move beyond the bare minimum to engage and keep their valuable workforce.
Harassment and violence are defined as workplace hazards. Employers must develop policies and programs that address hostility in the workplace as required under the OHSA.