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.
The Workplace Safety Blog
“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.
Exposed body extremities, fingers, noses, toes, ears and cheeks are especially susceptible to frostbite. While the rest of the body can remain warm and unaffected, the extremities suffer from a poor blood supply in extreme cold, leading to hardness and numbing without the victim realizing what is happening.
Small to mid-size companies have unique challenges because of limited resources and/or, limited funds for health and safety. Regardless of the limitations, responsibilities and OHSA requirements still remain for creating and maintaining a safe work environment.