Rights & Responsibilities
Your Rights as a Worker
The Right to Know – about the hazards in your workplace.
The Right to Participate – in workplace health & safety through the joint committee or as a representative.
The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work – you must refuse work you reasonably believe may pose a risk to you or others.
The Right to be Free From Reprisal – you can not be fired or disciplined for contacting WCB or exercising your workplace rights.
To learn more about your rights, check out the BC FED site for detailed information and resources.
Who is Responsible for your Safety?
We all play a role in workplace safety and promoting wellness within our workspaces.
To find out who is responsible for what, check out the WorkSafeBC site for a complete listing of responsibilities of employers, supervisors and employees.
Joint Health & Safety Committees
When do you need a joint health and safety committee?
If your workplace has 20 or more workers, you need a joint committee. This includes any workplace where there are 20 or more workers employed at the workplace for longer than a month. WorkSafeBC may also order that a joint committee be established in any other workplace.
When do you need a worker health and safety representative?
If your workplace has more than 9 but fewer than 20 workers, you need to have a worker health and safety representative. This includes any workplace where there are 10 or more workers employed at the workplace for longer than a month.
What joint committees and worker health and safety representatives do
The joint committee plays an important role in your occupational health and safety program, giving workers and employers a way to work together to identify and find solutions to workplace health and safety issues. The joint committee has the following specific duties and functions:
- Identify situations that may be unhealthy or unsafe for workers, and advise on effective systems for responding to those situations
- Consider, and promptly deal with complaints relating to the health and safety of workers
- Consult with workers and the employer on issues related to occupational health and safety, and the occupational environment
- Make recommendations to the employer and the workers for the improvement of the occupational health and safety, and the occupational environment of workers
- Make recommendations to the employer on educational programs promoting the health and safety of workers and compliance with the OHS provisions of the Workers Compensation Act and the regulations, and to monitor their effectiveness
- Advise the employer on programs and policies required under the regulations for the workplace, and to monitor their effectiveness
- Advise the employer on proposed changes to the workplace, including significant proposed changes to equipment and machinery, or the work processes that may affect the health or safety of workers
- Ensure that accident investigations and regular inspections are carried out as required
- Participate in inspections, investigations and inquiries as provided in the OHS provisions of the Workers Compensation Act and Part 3 of the Regulation
In workplaces where a worker health and safety representative is required, the representative has the same duties and functions as a joint committee, to the extent practicable.
*From the WorkSafeBC Website