It’s Your Job
You have done your part; you have been mindful and watchful for any possible safety issues at work. You let your supervisor know when you had a concern. Perhaps you went as far as refusing to take part in certain tasks due to the perceived risk. However, they haven’t taken action to resolve the issue. They haven’t given you information to make you comfortable performing those tasks.
In their eyes, there isn’t a problem and the job needs to get done. Not only do you not feel comfortable doing it, but you also don’t want to see someone else get hurt if they agree to do that job. The concern is heavy on your mind, but you don’t have to just let the employer have their way. They may not back your efforts, but you have a legal right to fight for safety at your workplace.
Stand your Ground
Be respectful and don’t walk off the job. However, you shouldn’t feel pressured or bullied into doing the task when you feel there is a chance you could be injured in the process. The Occupational Health and Safety Act protects your rights as an employee. If you stand your ground about this, they can’t fire you and they can’t treat you differently because you reported it. They can ask you to take on other tasks during your time at work. As long as you don’t feel there is a risk involved with them, agree to complete them.
Reach out to WorkSafeNB for Assistance
Don’t get discouraged if your supervisor wasn’t helpful. Reach out to your safety committee representative and file a complaint through them. They will review your claim and why you feel it is a risk to perform that task. They will take the time required to fully investigate the claim internally. They may come up with a solution to the problem and everything gets back to a point where you can do your job again.
If your employer doesn’t have such a committee or you aren’t happy with their findings, you have another option. You can reach out to WorkSafeNB for assistance. They are an objective 3rd party with the goal of ensuring the work environment is safe for all. There is never any charge for the services. When you call them at 1-800-222-9775, they will ask you questions to fully understand the situation. They will investigate it from there, including reaching out to your employer to discuss the issue.