When you believe working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful, you should call your employer's attention to the problem. If your employer does not correct the hazard or disagrees with you about the extent of the hazard, you also may file a complaint with OSHA.
Refusing to do a job because of potentially unsafe workplace conditions is not ordinarily an employee right under the OSH Act. (Your union contract or state law may, however, give you this right, but OSHA cannot enforce it.) Refusing to work may result in disciplinary action by the employer. However, employees do have the right to refuse to do a job if they believe in good faith that they are exposed to an imminent danger. "Good faith" means that even if an imminent danger is not found to exist, the worker had reasonable grounds to believe that it did exist.
But, as a general rule, you do not have the right to walk off the job because of unsafe conditions. If you do and your employer fires or disciplines you, OSHA may not be able to protect you. So, stay on the job until the problem can be resolved.
Your right to refuse to do a task is protected if all of the following conditions are met:
When all of these conditions are met, you take the following steps:
If your employer discriminates against you for refusing to perform the dangerous work, contact OSHA immediately.
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