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When can you refuse to do a dangerous job? 

On Behalf of | May 4, 2022 | Workers' Compensation |

You may have heard that you have the right to refuse to do work that seems excessively dangerous. This doesn’t mean that you can refuse all risks, as many jobs come with inherent risks. But you don’t have to do everything that your boss says if you believe it’s too dangerous to take on.

When you can do this is determined by four different conditions that need to be met. It’s important to know what these are so that you understand when you have a right to refuse to work.

The four conditions

The four main conditions, as laid out by OSHA, are listed below:

  • You have already talked to your employer, explaining the danger and asking them to fix it, and they haven’t done so.
  • Your fear of this imminent danger is honest and genuine, and you are refusing in good faith to take on that job.
  • If another reasonable person were shown the same conditions that you’re looking at, they would agree with you that the risk of significant injuries or even death is too high.
  • There’s a certain level of urgency, meaning that you can’t request an OSHA inspection or do anything else to address the danger to make it safe to work.

As noted above, even if you’re able to avoid the most dangerous situations, you may still be injured on the job because there are always risks that workers face. Accidents happen and all dangerous conditions cannot be avoided – or they are not always noticed in advance, but only after the injury. 

If you have been injured, make sure that you know how to seek workers’ compensation after the fact.