Workers' Rights

Health & safety - Do you know your rights?

Although most workers understand that their employer has a responsibility to provide a safe workplace, it hasn’t always been so. The laws designed to keep Ontarians safe at work have not always existed, and they were almost always established in response to workers being injured, made ill, or dying on the job.

Workers in Ontario are protected by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which gives them:

  1. The right to know about health and safety hazards and their controls.
  2. The right to participate in health and safety processes.
  3. The right to refuse work that could affect their health and safety and that of others.

We have not been able to consistently count on employers to ensure worker safety, nor on the government to make and enforce laws. Workplaces are made safe when workers understand and assert their rights.  The Occupational Health and Safety Act also protects workers against reprisals when exercising their rights.

Make sure that you and your colleagues are safe by following health and safety rules, giving your full attention to health and safety training, reporting health and safety hazards to your supervisor, and discussing concerns with your health and safety representative. For help in advocating for a safe workplace, contact your local ETFO office.