Any worker has the right to refuse an instruction that they believe will result in injury or harm to themselves or others. This belief must be based on something.
Refusal of a reasonable management request may be viewed as gross misconduct.
To ensure you are protected follow these three simple steps:
1. Ask the person who made the request to show you are copy of the safe working method of working document.
2. Ask for a copy of the risk assessment for the work you are being asked to carry out.
3. Contact your Unite Rep and ask them if you have the right to refuse to carry out the task being requested under section 44 ERA, 1996.
Section 44 is such a useful thing to know. When an entire workforce knows about it, it seriously increases worker confidence and helps ensure a safer workplace. Better still, it encourages management to "think union" before they act.
To help increase awareness of section 44, please consider sharing this blog.
What if I am victimised for questioning safety?
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- Section 44, ERA 1996 - very important!
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