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Occupational Health & Safety – Your Basic Rights

There were 1,027 fatalities in 2018 in Canada due to work-related injuries. In 2018 many jurisdictions saw an increase in fatality rate compared to their 2015-2017 report. Manitoba saw an increase of 241%, Nova Scotia 137% and Saskatchewan 65%. Workers are required to report to their employer any work-related injury or sudden occurrence of illness experienced while at work. However, often times employees do not report work-related injuries.


An employer is required to create and maintain proper written records of all work-related injuries or illnesses that happened at work. Although the cause of the injury or illness may not be known at the time, every effort should be made to determine the cause within a reasonable period of time. The cause of work injuries should be added to the record and if an illness is the result of occupational causes, this information should also be added. Even if no first aid is administered, an injury or illness reported by a worker must be recorded.


The three basic rights that employees across Canada have are:

  1. The right to refuse an unsafe working environment
  2. The right to participate in workplace health and safety through a health and safety committee or as a worker health and safety representative.
  3. The right to know or the right to be informed about potential dangers in the workplace


A workplace first aider has the following rules in an occupational health and safety management system.

  • Work in compliance with OH&S acts and regulations.
  • Use Proper PPE as directed
  • Report workplace hazards and dangers
  • Always work in a safe manner as required and inform a supervisor or manager about any equipment safety issues

We need our workers to know and understand what their rights are and feel like they can report workplace injuries.


For more information on occupational health and safety legislation please visit your jurisdictional website to view additional regulations and codes.