WorkSafeBC Home

What workers should do

Workers should know and understand their workplace health and safety responsibilities — and those of others. If you’re a worker, you also have three key rights: the right to know about hazards in the workplace; the right to participate in health and safety activities in the workplace; and the right to refuse unsafe work.

Know when not to come to work

The following workers must not go to work:

  • Anyone with COVID‐19-like symptoms such as a sore throat, fever, sneezing, or coughing must self‐isolate at home for a minimum of 10 days from onset of symptoms, until their symptoms are completely resolved.
  • Workers who have travelled internationally. In these cases, they must remain away from the workplace for at least 14 days.
  • They live in the same household as a confirmed or clinical COVID-19 case who is self-isolating.

Workers who have been exposed to anyone confirmed to have COVID-19, or to anyone with possible symptoms of COVID-19, should call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 for an assessment and to determine any necessary next steps.

Take other preventative measures while at work

If entering the workplace, workers should:

  • Comply with the employer’s instructions around minimizing exposure to COVID-19.
  • Wash their hands frequently, and/or use hand sanitizer.
  • Take steps to minimize exposure to COVID-19 while away from work.

Right to refuse work

Workers in B.C. have the right to refuse work if they believe it presents an undue hazard.

An undue hazard is an “unwarranted, inappropriate, excessive, or disproportionate” risk, above and beyond the potential exposure a general member of the public would face through regular, day-to-day activity.

In these circumstances, the worker should follow steps within their workplace to resolve the issue. The worker would begin by reporting the undue hazard to their employer for investigation and the employers would then need to consider the refusal on a case-by-case basis, depending on the situation.

If the matter is not resolved, the worker and the supervisor or employer must contact WorkSafeBC. A prevention officer will then investigate and take steps to find a workable solution.

For more information, see Occupational Health and Safety Guideline G3.12.

Need more information?

For information and assistance with health and safety issues in the workplace, including COVID-19, please contact our Prevention Information Line.