Federal employers have a new definition of "danger" to
apply, and an updated work refusal process to use, effective
October 31, 2014.
The federal government amended the definition of
"danger" to, according to a government statement,
"ensure that work refusals are used only when employees are
facing an imminent or serious threat to their life or
"Danger" is now defined as "any hazard, condition
or activity that could reasonably be expected to be an imminent or
serious threat to the life or health of a person exposed to it
before the hazard or condition can be corrected or the activity
The previous definition of "danger" was the
somewhat-convoluted, "any existing or potential hazard or
condition or any current or future activity that could reasonably
be expected to cause injury or illness to a person exposed to it
before the hazard or condition can be corrected, or the activity
altered, whether or not the injury or illness occurs immediately
after the exposure to the hazard, condition or activity, and
includes any exposure to a hazardous substance that is likely to
result in a chronic illness, in disease or in damage to the
The federal Labour Program also states, on its website,
"The refusal to work process has been amended to clarify
when the employer and health and safety committee (or
representative) must conduct their investigations and the Labour
Program has developed a report template that can
be used to record the findings. For further information, please
consult Information document 4, "Right to Refuse Dangerous Work" and a
series of questions and answers pertaining to the
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