Internal complaint process

Section 127.1 sets out the process for resolving workplace health and safety complaints.

This process has to be used before other recourses available under Part II of the Code, except for the right to refuse dangerous work and the right of pregnant or nursing workers to temporarily withdraw from dangerous work.

The process includes the following steps:

  • Step 1: A worker who reasonably believes that there has been a contravention of the Code or that there is likely to be an accident or injury to health makes a complaint to the supervisor (s.127.1(1));
  • Step 2: The worker and the supervisor must attempt to resolve the complaint between themselves as soon as possible (s.127.1(2));
  • Step 3: Either person can refer an unresolved complaint to a chairperson of the workplace committee (s.127.1(3));
  • Step 4: The persons who investigate the complaint must inform the worker and the employer in writing of the results of the investigation (s.127.1(4));
  • Step 5: The persons who investigate the complaint may make recommendations to the employer about the situation that gave rise to the complaint, whether or not they conclude that the complaint is justified (s.127.1(5));
  • Step 6: If the complaint is justified, the employer must without delay inform the investigators - in writing - how and when it will resolve the matter and take appropriate action (s.127.1(6));
  • Step 7: If the persons who investigate the complaint conclude that a danger exists, the employer must ensure that no worker is exposed to that danger (s.127.1)
  • Step 8: The worker or employer may to a health and safety officer circumstances (s.127.1(8)):
    1. the employer does not agree with the results of the investigation;
    2. the employer has failed to take action to resolve the matter or to inform investigated the complaint of how and when it intends to proceed; or
    3. the persons who investigated the do not agree as to whether the justified.
  • Step 9: The health and safety officer must investigate the complaint (s.127.1(9));
  • Step 10: After the investigation, the officer (s.127.1(10)):
    1. can issue directions to an employer or worker;
    2. can recommend that the employer resolve the matter between themselves;
    3. if the officer concludes that a danger she must issue directions.


September 13, 2013