Addressing Safety Concerns

If you assign work activities to other employees, you are responsible for addressing safety concerns.

Individuals who assign work activities are referred to as supervisors. This includes faculty members who hire research assistants and supervise students.
Safety concerns may be identified through safety risk assessments, safety inspections or employee reports. As a supervisor, it is your job to assess safety concerns and, in consultation with your staff, identify options to mitigate safety risks and initiate appropriate corrective action.

Where the supervisor suspects that the safety concern may also be an issue elsewhere in the department or outside of the department, the local safety committee should be alerted. An example of such a situation could be the use of a keyboard mouse that seems to contribute to repetitive strain injuries.

When supervisors deem the situation to be safe.

It may be possible that upon investigation, the supervisor deems that there is no safety issue with the raised safety concern. In such a case, the supervisor must communicate to the person responsible for doing the work that they have investigated and, based on their observations, the work activity is safe.

In some situations, the employee may continue to perceive a safety hazard.  In such a case, the employee can elevate the concern to their local safety committee or EHRS. Employees can also opt to refuse unsafe work in accordance with WorkSafeBC Regulation, Section 3.12.  Refusal of Unsafe Work involves a rigid process; assistance from EHRS should be sought in such situations.