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 An amendment to Part 3 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR) has recently come into effect. A new section has been added to Part 3 of the OHSR titled Section 3.12.1, Reassignment of Refused Work. 

Contents under section 3.12.1, Reassignment of Refused Work  directly relates to how an Employer carries out a refusal of unsafe work submitted by an employee.

Please see below summary of key points regarding the amendment.

Key Points

1.     When did 3.12.1, Reassignment of Refused Work take effect:

August 22, 2022

2.     Objective of 3.12.1, Reassignment of Refused Work:

To fill a gap in the already established section 3.12 Procedure for Refusal to inform any subsequent worker about a previous work refusal who are assigned or permitted to do the work that is the subject of the work refusal while the work refusal investigation is in process.

3.     New responsibilities under 3.12.1, Reassignment of Refused Work: 

Employers responsibilities during a refusal of unsafe work must now include written notice provided to any worker assigned or permitted to do the work that is the subject of the work refusal during the work refusal investigation process. 

This section requires that the following be included in the written notice: 

      The fact that another worker has refused the work 

      The reason provided by the other worker for refusing the work 

      The reason why the employer believes the work would not create an undue hazard for the subsequent worker, or to the health and safety of any other person 

      Information about any subsequent worker’s right to refuse unsafe work


Please note, responsibilities under Section 3.12.1, Reassignment of Refused Work, must be completed in conjunction with all additional responsibilities already in place under section 3.12 of the OHSR. 

4.     How to issue written notice under 3.12.1, Reassignment of Refused Work: 

This new section of the act permits the use of electronic communications, paper records, a collaboration form, or a combination of approaches. Employers should consider the number of workers to be advised and the need to retain records when choosing a communication method.

Call to Action for Employers

Safetydownloads encourages all Employers to become familiar with section 3.12.1, Reassignment of Refused Work, understand their responsibilities under the new section and amend internal policies, procedures and processes to reflect the contents under this section. 

Call to Action: 

1.     Read and understand the memo issued by WorkSafeBC. 


2.     Update internal documents that relate to refusal of unsafe work: 


      OHS Responsibilities (Employer)

      OHS Policy

      Incident Investigation Process / Work Refusal Process 


3.     Inform all employees in your workplace of the amendment and new internal processes by participating in one or multiple of the following:  


      Posting a memo on Health and Safety Notice Boards

      Companywide email

      Tool Box topic on active sites

      Agenda item at next Health and Safety Meeting


4.     Exercise the new process during the next refusal of unsafe work. 


Links, Resources and References