Labour & Regulatory Services - Workplace, Safety & Health

FAQs: Right to Refuse Dangerous Work


Workers must report dangerous conditions in the workplace to their employer, supervisor, or other person in charge. Workers have the right to refuse work that they reasonably believe constitutes a danger to their safety and health, or to the safety and health of another person.

If the employer and the worker(s) are unable to agree on a resolution, and workers are not satisfied that an employer has taken necessary steps to remedy the dangerous condition Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) may investigate the ‘right to refuse.’ Right to refuse is a high priority issue for WSH.

Investigating the Right to Refuse:

When WSH is advised of a right to refuse:

  • A Safety and Health Officer (SHO) is assigned immediately. Where necessary, the SHO will attend the workplace.
  • The assigned SHO meets with the worker, supervisor, workplace safety and health committee co-chairs or representative (if applicable) to resolve the safety and health concern.
  • If the employer and the worker(s) are still unable to agree on a resolution, the assigned SHO will make a decision on whether or not the job situation or task that has been refused is dangerous to the safety and health of the worker or any other person at the workplace.
  • If the SHO determines there is a danger, the employer may be issued orders to correct the issue.
  • If the SHO determines that there is no danger, the SHO will explain their determination to the worker, and advise that the right to refuse exercised for the job task or situation is no longer valid.

WSH Legal Requirements:

See Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act, W210:

  • Section 5, Duties of Workers;
  • Section 7.5, Duty to Provide Required Information
  • Section 40, Workplace Safety and Health Committees and Representatives
  • Section 43(1), Right to Refuse Dangerous Work

See also, Part 35, Workplace Hazardous Products Information Systems Application of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation (M.R. 217/2006).

To Report a Disputed ‘Right to Refuse’:

Call WSH at: 204-957-SAFE(7233) (Winnipeg), 1-855-957-SAFE(7233) (Toll-Free)

Top of page