January 23, 2020
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
FOR COLD AND HEAVY WEATHER
It has come to our attention there are some significant issues in the fleet where members are not receiving proper clothing (PPE) for cold and/or heavy weather. This bulletin is to inform you of your rights if you are not given adequate (thermal) protection from the weather.
For exposure to conditions that can make a worker cold, WorkSafeBC has several specific OHS Regulations (7.33 – 7.38). These regulations apply if the weather (thermal) conditions for a worker could “cause cold stress or injury,” or could “cause a worker’s core body temperatures to drop below 36°C (96.8°F)” (OHS Reg. 7.33). In order to prevent this, “a worker… must wear adequate insulating clothing and personal protective equipment” (OHS Reg. 7.37).
If you are not provisioned appropriate gear for heavy and/or cold weather, and are not allowed to wear your own clothing to keep warm and dry, you must refuse the work as unsafe under OHS Regulation 3.12. At this point, it is illegal for your supervisor or manager to order you to work without providing or allowing for appropriate PPE for the weather.
Put another way – if you are too cold to perform your duties in a safe and comfortable manner because BC Ferries has not provided or allowed for adequate weather gear, refuse the work – this is your legal right and obligation.
Please contact your Local President or our Union Office if you have any questions.
View as a pdf: Bulletin #2 Personal Protective Equipment For Cold and Heavy Weather