Does the PEI Occupational Health and Safety Act apply at my worksite?

Yes, it applies to all worksites in the province, with the exception of federally regulated workplaces such as Strait Crossing Bridge Limited. 

PEI Occupational Health and Safety Act


Purpose of Act 

Section 2

The purpose of this Act is to secure workers and self-employed persons from risks to their safety, health and physical or psychological well-being arising out of, or in connection with, activities in their workplaces.

Section 3

Application (1) Subject to subsection (2), this Act applies to all workplaces within the legislative jurisdiction of the province. Exemption (2) This Act does not apply to workplaces exempted by regulation from the application of this Act.

Federal Act

Below are links to the Canada Labour Code:



Does my workplace require an Occupational Health and Safety Policy?

All workplaces with five or more workers must have a written health and safety policy and review it annually. This applies whether the workers are all in one location or spread out over various locations in the province. The policy must include the employer’s commitment to injury prevention. It must also include the responsibilities of the employer, supervisors, and workers. The employer must write the policy in consultation with the workers.

Does my worksite require a Health and Safety Representative?

Workplaces with between 5 and 19 regularly employed workers at a workplace must have a safety representative. The workers must choose a representative who is not a supervisor. The representative’s name must be posted in the workplace.

Does my worksite require an occupational health and safety committee?

All employers with 20 or more regularly employed workers at a workplace must have a Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOSH) Committee. The committee monitors the OHS Program. In some cases, a single employer with multiple workplaces will have several committees or a combination of committees and representatives to cover all workplaces. Construction projects expected to last more than three months must have a safety committee. Workers choose the worker members of the committee. At least half of the workers on a committee must be workers who are not supervisors. The other half of the committee is selected by the employer. Committees must meet monthly and post the meeting minutes with contact information. All committee work is done on paid time.

Can I refuse to work if I believe the work is dangerous or unsafe?

Workers have the right to refuse work if they believe that the work is dangerous to them or another worker’s health or safety. If a worker believes that a task or situation is dangerous, they must report the concern to a supervisor immediately. The worker must also go to a safe place within the workplace. The employer may have the worker do other work. The supervisor must investigate the work refusal immediately, with the worker present. 

• If the supervisor finds the work unsafe, the employer must fix the problem before work can continue. 

• If the supervisor believes the task is safe, and the worker still feels it is unsafe, the worker must report the concern to the committee or representative. The supervisor can ask another worker to do the job and must inform the other person about the work refusal reasons.  The committee or representative must investigate the situation promptly. 

• If the committee or representative agrees with the refusal, they will recommend that the employer fix the problem. 

• If they disagree, the committee or representative will advise the worker to return to work. 

If the worker still feels unsafe and the problem is not resolved to the worker’s satisfaction, they can call the Occupational Health and Safety Division of the WCB at 902-368-5680 or toll-free in Atlantic Canada at 1-800-237-5049. Outside of normal working hours, the worker can use the 24-hour emergency number at 902-628-7513. The worker, supervisor, and committee or representative must follow this process before an OHS Officer can investigate the concern. The OHS Officer may issue an order to the employer to correct the situation or advise the worker to return to work.

Can an UPSE Member request that the Union file a grievance due to a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act?

Yes.  Collective agreements contain an article on Health and Safety (for example, article 29 below from the Civil Service Agreement).  Violations of this article by the employer can be grieved.


29.01 Employer Responsibility
The Employer shall make all necessary provisions for the occupational safety and
health of employees.

29.02 Expedited Process
When an employee, a group of employees or the Union is not satisfied that the
provisions of Article 29.01 are being complied with, then the following shall apply:

(a) the matter will be referred in writing to the Employing Authority who shall
immediately investigate the complaint;

(b) failing a satisfactory remedy within ten (10) days following such investigation, the
matter may be referred to the Designated Representative at the final level in the
grievance procedure;

(c) if the decision rendered in Article 29.02(b) is not satisfactory, the matter may be
referred to adjudication for a decision which is final and binding on the parties.

29.03 Safety Committees
Safety committees shall be established in accordance with the Prince Edward Island
Occupational Health and Safety Act, and its regulations, including any future
amendments to the Act or its regulations. Other safety committees may be established
where the parties jointly determine that there is a requirement for such a committee.
These committees will meet to make recommendations on items such as unsafe,
hazardous or dangerous conditions with the aim of preventing and reducing risk of
occupational injury or illness.

29.04 Occupational Safety Policy and Program
The Employer and the Union acknowledge the establishment of the Occupational Safety
Policy and Program. The Employer agrees not to amend the Occupational Safety Policy
and Program without the prior approval of the Joint Employer/Union Safety Committee.