Definition of "Danger" - 905-1-IPG-062
Effective Date: October, 2014
Interpretation of the definition of "danger" as set out in subsection 122(1) Canada Labour Code, part II.
In 2014, Bill C-4, Economic Action Plan No. 2, amended the definition of danger. This was done to clarify and reduce the complexity of the definition. The purpose of this IPG is to provide assistance in the interpretation of the new definition and to support its consistent application.
Subsection 122(1) of the Code defines "danger" as:
"any hazard, condition or activity that could reasonably be expected to be an imminent or serious threat to the life or health of a person exposed to it before the hazard or condition can be corrected or the activity altered."
3. Characteristics of "danger" as defined in the Code
The main components of the definition are:
- "Hazard" means a source of harm or risk to an employee.
- "Condition" means circumstances, and in particular, those affecting the functioning or existence of something.
- "Activity" means the tasks directly related to the employee's duties.
3.2 Additional definitions
Upon notification of a continued refusal to work, the Official delegated by the Minister, with the appropriate authority must assess whether a danger exists; that is, whether the hazard, condition or activity in question are reasonably considered either an imminent threat or a serious threat before the hazard or condition can be corrected or the activity altered.
All of the components of the definition of "danger", including whether there is a serious or imminent threat "before the hazard or condition can be corrected or the activity altered", will be determined on the facts of each case.
Allegations of the existence of a danger should not be based on speculation or hypothesis.
Hazards, conditions or activities that are determined to not meet the definition of danger shall be referred back to the workplace.
Employment and Social Development Canada – Labour Program
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