Health and safety at work


Workers have rights that are set out in the Employment Standards Act, Human Rights Code and Occupational Health and Safety Act. If you have problems at work, you can make a complaint to the Ministry of Labour, sue in court and/or file a human rights complaint:

  • You have a right to a healthy and safe workplace
  • You have a right to take part in health and safety activities, such as being chosen to be a health and safety representative or a member of a health and safety committee
  • Your employer must tell you about all known hazards in your workplace and provide training so that you can work safely. This includes any type of work or any material that might hurt you. You have the right to know about all dangerous chemicals used in your workplace
  • You have a right to refuse work that you believe is dangerous to your health and safety or to other workers
  • If your supervisor or employer does not resolve health or safety issues, you have a right to contact the Ministry of Labour and ask that an inspector be sent to the workplace
  • Your employer is responsible for arranging appropriate medical treatment in the event of a workplace injury
  • You have a right to be free from reprisal or punishment by your employer because you made a complaint. If your employer has fired you, threatened to fire you, disciplined you or intimidated you because you made a health and safety complaint, contact the Ministry of Labour for assistance
  • If there are 6 to 19 workers in your workplace, there must be a health and safety representative for the workers. If there are 20 or more workers in your workplace, or if certain dangerous materials are used, there must be a worker-management health and safety committee

Learn more

  1. Decide if your legal problem relates to health and safety at work.
  2. Read Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to learn more about your rights at work with respect to health or safety.
  3. Follow the Steps for instructions on what you can do if your health and safety rights have been violated.
  4. Review the Resources to find new and in-depth legal information about workplace health and safety.
  5. See the Links for news and other helpful websites

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DisclaimerLast updated 07/30/2009