WSBC Board approves amendments to regulation concerning refusal of unsafe work



WorkSafeBC (WSBC) has amended Section 3.12 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. This section outlines a worker’s rights to refuse unsafe work. The regulation directs a person not to perform any work if they have reasonable cause to believe doing so would create an undue hazard to the health and safety of any person.

The new amendments include additional requirements for the employer around assigning refused work to another worker. As of Aug. 22, 2022, employers must not require or permit another worker to do refused work unless:

  • the matter has been resolved as outlined in the regulation, or
  • the employer has, in writing, advised the other worker of the following:
    • the refusal
    • the unsafe condition reported
    • the reasons why the task would not create an undue hazard
    • their right to refuse unsafe work

Read more on this issue in the BCPSEA OHS bulletin.

Understanding the WSBC Regulatory Development Process Steps

  1. Regulatory Amendment Initiation – identifying specific key issues, SMEs and further data required.
  2. Pre-Consulation – a pre-consultation session with a small number of external stakeholders to receive feedback on the draft regulatory amendments.
  3. Public Consultation – The draft regulatory amendments, along with explanatory notes, are published on the WorkSafeBC website for review and comment.
  4. Public Hearing – draft amendments are made public and stakeholders are provided with another opportunity to comment
  5. Board of Director (BOD) Decision – WSBC presents the feedback received during the public hearings to the BOD and requests approval for the proposed amendments
  6. Post-Decision – If the regulatory amendments are approved, the regulations are deposited with the Office of the Registrar of Regulations, Ministry of the Attorney General.