Citizens for Safe Technology
Empowering the public to protect children
and nature from unsafe wireless technologies.
Wi-Fi Action Kit
This Wi-Fi "Action Kit" offers an essential collection of informative, useful and active ways for parents, grandparents, teachers, caregivers and other concerned citizens to tackle the wireless issue in homes, schools and communities.
Looking for a specific topic or a past article? Search for it below:
Do you know where the WiFi/Bluetooth Microwave Antennas are on your child's iPad?
Full article posted on parentsforasafeschool.blogspot.ca
Articles by Karen Langenmaier, BCTF Health and Safety Officer and Lynne Sinclair, Assistant Director in the BCTF's Organization Support Division -Teacher Newsmagazine March 2010 and October 2000 respectively
Health and safety - March 2010
By Karen LangenmaierRefusal of unsafe work
This office receives many calls and e-mails asking under what conditions workers have the right to refuse unsafe work. The specific language relative to the refusal of unsafe work may be found in the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation Part 3.12:
A person must not carry out or cause to be carried out any work process or operate or cause to be operated any tool, appliance or equipment if that person has reasonable cause to believe that to do so would create an undue hazard to the health and safety of any person.
The operant words are reasonable cause and undue hazard. This means that every worker will have a different level of tolerance to work practices and as such every worker has the right to refuse unsafe work when they have a reasonable cause to believe there is an undue hazard to themselves or anyone else in their work area. The process is very clear and allows for different stages of investigations to ensure that the work area is safe before workers return.
3.12 Procedure for refusal
A worker who refuses to carry out a work process or operate a tool, appliance or equipment pursuant to subsection (1) must immediately report the circumstances of the unsafe condition to his or her supervisor or employer.
A flow chart of the refusal of unsafe work process is available on the BCTF website in the health and safety tab.
3.13 No discriminatory action
A worker must not be subject to discriminatory action as defined in section 150 of Part 3 of the Workers Compensation Act because the worker has acted in compliance with section 3.12 or with an order made by an officer.
Workers can be reassigned temporarily at no loss of pay until the matter is resolved.
Keep in mind that the refusal of unsafe work is not to be used as a threat and should be taken seriously. The work situation either creates an immediate undue hazard or not. Once the process has been initiated, it is important to see it through to the end so that there is a record of investigations and remedies to prevent further unsafe situations.
- Karen Langenmaier, BCTF Health & Safety officer
by Lynne Sinclair
Occupational Health & Safety Regulation 3.12: A person must not carry out or cause to be carried out any work process or operate or cause to be operated any tool, appliance, or equipment if that person has reasonable cause to believe that to do so would create an undue hazard to the health and safety of any person.
The right to refuse unsafe work is one of the three basic health and safety rights of workers around the world. It is the most important right because if all else fails, the worker may refuse unsafe work and thereby be protected from injury or illness. Refusing unsafe work is the exception to the "work now, grieve later" rule of labour arbitrations. The right to refuse unsafe work is enshrined in legislation because society recognizes that occasions and circumstances will arise in which workers must make decisions on the spot; the health and safety of workers is paramount in these situations.
In British Columbia, refusing unsafe work is actually an obligation. This is an important distinction for teachers who must be responsible not only for their own health and safety but also for that of their students'. The obligatory nature of the regulation means that teachers do not have to bear the weight of making a decision--they must not carry out work they believe is unsafe. In addition, the regulation includes the phrase "an undue hazard to the health and safety of any person" (emphasis added), which includes students.
Teachers have refused unsafe work in a variety of situations. In many cases, simply the notice to the administrative officer has caused immediate action and results, eliminating an actual refusal of unsafe work.
Refusal of unsafe work can regard one aspect of an assignment, not necessarily the entire assignment. For example, an art teacher may refuse to fire the kiln until it has been inspected and found safe but continue to teach all other aspects of art. Another example is a refusal of unsafe work which results in keeping a student who has been violent out of a class or school until a risk assessment, an investigation, and proper safeguards/ resources are put in place. This ensures the safety of the teacher and the other students and the continuity of instruction, and it also ensures that the student receives the necessary care and attention.
A refusal of unsafe work can produce other positive results, such as a safe, new location. For example, a refusal to teach in a classroom with mould may result in a protective reassignment to another classroom or location until the unsafe condition is remedied. Teacher refusals of unsafe work have also resulted in increased staffing--teachers or teacher assistants. In addition, school security has been improved when teachers refuse to continue to teach without adequate protection in the face of violent threats; cell phones, additional supervision aides, a dedicated phone line, a security camera, and even security guards have been provided.
A refusal of unsafe work involves four steps. The first step is to inform your administrative officer of the unsafe condition and that you are refusing unsafe work. The other steps are outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, a copy of which must be in your workplace, and in the BCTF Health and Safety manual, which is online at www.bctf.ca/education/health/OHandS-Manual/. It is strongly suggested that teachers who refuse unsafe work seek union support and assistance from the outset. Should the refusal not be resolved at the first three steps, a WCB officer will investigate and decide whether the situation is unsafe. A worker cannot be disciplined for complying with the refusal-of-unsafe-work regulation.
A teacher who becomes ill as a result of exposure to toxins in the workplace is entitled to benefits under WCB, which are obtained by filing a claim. However, once the teacher has recovered, the situation may change from a claim to a refusal of unsafe work. For example, the teacher may be well again but unable to be in the workplace where the toxins remain. The administrative officer must be notified of a refusal of unsafe work in this situation.
The threat of a refusal of unsafe work has, in many cases, resolved the problem because it catches the immediate attention of management, administrative officers, health and safety committees, and the WCB. The bottom line is that the refusal-of-unsafe-work provision is there to protect us and our students; it works when we don't.
Lynne Sinclair is an assistant director in the BCTF's Organization Support Division.
Worker's Report of Injury or Occupational Disease: for presentation to employer, provided here so employers can give to workers who are experiencing adverse symptoms from RF exposure (Wi-Fi) in the workplace
"Section 53(3) of the Workers Compensation Act requires that, where a worker is fit, and on request of the employer, they must provide the employer with particulars of the injury or occupational disease on a report prescribed by WorkSafeBC and supplied to the worker by the employer. This is the report prescribed. If requested by employer, please complete this report as it appears.
"Submit directly to employer. Do not submit to WorkSafeBC.
"This report should be completed by the injured worker if fit to do so. It can be completed by another individual for signature by the injured worker."
Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OH&SR) Sections 3.12 and 3.13
The following has been excerpted from the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation at WorkSafeBC's website.
3.12 Procedure for refusal (1) A person must not carry out or cause to be carried out any work process or operate or cause to be operated any tool, appliance or equipment if that person has reasonable cause to believe that to do so would create an undue hazard to the health and safety of any person. (emphasis added)
Refusal of Unsafe Work
3.12 Procedure for refusal
(1) A person must not carry out or cause to be carried out any work process or operate or cause to be operated any tool, appliance or equipment if that person has reasonable cause to believe that to do so would create an undue hazard to the health and safety of any person.
(2) A worker who refuses to carry out a work process or operate a tool, appliance or equipment pursuant to subsection (1) must immediately report the circumstances of the unsafe condition to his or her supervisor or employer.
(3) A supervisor or employer receiving a report made under subsection (2) must immediately investigate the matter and
(a) ensure that any unsafe condition is remedied without delay, or
(b) if in his or her opinion the report is not valid, must so inform the person who made the report.
(4) If the procedure under subsection (3) does not resolve the matter and the worker continues to refuse to carry out the work process or operate the tool, appliance or equipment, the supervisor or employer must investigate the matter in the presence of the worker who made the report and in the presence of
(a) a worker member of the joint committee,
(b) a worker who is selected by a trade union representing the worker, or
(c) if there is no joint committee or the worker is not represented by a trade union, any other reasonably available worker selected by the worker.
(5) If the investigation under subsection (4) does not resolve the matter and the worker continues to refuse to carry out the work process or operate the tool, appliance or equipment, both the supervisor, or the employer, and the worker must immediately notify an officer, who must investigate the matter without undue delay and issue whatever orders are deemed necessary.3.13 No discriminatory action
(1) A worker must not be subject to discriminatory action as defined in section 150 of Part 3 of the Workers Compensation Act because the worker has acted in compliance with section 3.12 or with an order made by an officer.
(2) Temporary assignment to alternative work at no loss in pay to the worker until the matter in section 3.12 is resolved is deemed not to constitute discriminatory action.
Note: The prohibition against discriminatory action is established in the Workers Compensation Act Part 3, Division 6, sections 150 through 153.
Disclaimer: The Workers' Compensation Board of B.C. ("WorkSafeBC") publishes the online version of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation ("OHS Regulation") in accordance with its mandate under the Workers Compensation Act to provide information and promote public awareness of occupational health and safety matters. The online OHS Regulation is not the official version of the OHS Regulation, which may be purchased from Crown Publications.
WorkSafeBC endeavours to update the online OHS Regulation as soon as possible following any legislative amendments. However, WorkSafeBC does not warrant the accuracy or the completeness of the online OHS Regulation, and neither WorkSafeBC nor its board of directors, employees or agents shall be liable to any person for any loss or damage of any nature, whether arising out of negligence or otherwise, arising from the use of the online OHS Regulation.
Employers are legally obligated to make a copy of the Workers' Compensation Actand the OHS Regulation readily available for review by workers. The circumstances under which WorkSafeBC may consider an employer's providing access to electronic versions of the Act and OHS Regulation to have satisfied this obligation are described in Guideline G-D3-115(2)(f).
a work in progress
WORKER SAFETY REGISTRY
Worksafe BC Form 6A
Work Safe BC Worker's Report of Injury or Occupational Disease: FORM for presentation to employer
BCTF Health and Safety 2000 and 2010
Refusal of Unsafe Work CHART
Refusal of Unsafe Work Rights and Responsibilities
Describes the process in place
SCHOOL UNIONS and POSITIONS on Wi-Fi
BCTF Resolution #140 passed March 2013
(BC Teachers Federation) Regarding accommodation of teachers with EHS in the workplace
Position Paper Wi-Fi in Ontario Schools
(OECTA - Catholic Teachers' Union) A Position regarding Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation, including Wi-Fi, in the Workplace
L.A. Teachers' Union Resolution 2013
Union of Teachers Los Angeles- Passes Resolution to Ensure Safety from Hazardous Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) in Schools, including EMF Emissions from Wireless Technology
BCCPAC Resolution 2013
BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils' protocol and rationale concerning Wi-Fi in Schools
BCCPAC Parents Demand Choice and Precaution 2012
News Release re BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils' vote at their 2012 AGM re Wi-Fi in Schools
Open Letter from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine
The Executive Committee's letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District, March 2013
Cardiologist's Letter to School Boards re Wi-Fi in Schools
Dr Stephen Sinatra, Former Chief Cardiologist of Massachusetts Memorial Hospital and founder of the Canadian Coalition Doctors for Safe Schools
Open Letter Regarding Wi-Fi Networks in Schools
Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University re Routers in Schools
Martha Herbert's Open Letter to Los Angeles Schools
Wireless vs. Wired in Schools
Medical Advisory re Wi-Fi and Children's Health
Comprehensive two-page handout with links
BioInitiative Report 2012
Comprehensive summary of studies re adverse health effects of wireless technology
Talking to Your Doctor
EHS Symptoms and awareness information for patients and doctors
Wi-Fi in Schools - The Facts
Short, informative video from Australia
Electromagnetic Sensitivity Lecture in two parts
POWERPOINT Wireless in Schools
53 informational slides to use in presentations re Wi-Fi in schools
Citizens For Safe Technology - First printed 2011
This is a handout you can download and print for distribution when needed. It contains information compiled in 2011 under the auspices of Citizens for Safe Technology (CST).
Addressed to Medical Professionals. Useful to all. Updated November 17, 2013
The following package is for those who wish to approach their doctors with information regarding the possible health risks from non-thermal microwave radiation. It contains links organized into specific health effect categories. These links can be printed out according to personal areas of need or concern, and used to start a dialogue with doctors who may not as yet have associated certain health conditions with EMF or RF exposure.
The introductory letter on pages 1 and 2 contains a link to the entire list, and may be useful to your doctor as a reference tool.
"Dear Medical Professional:
"Your patient has asked us for support in providing you with information regarding the possible health risks from non-thermal microwave radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, recently reclassified by the WHO/IARC as a Class 2B, possible human carcinogen.
"This WHO risk category also includes lead, DDT, chloroform, and dioxane, and is relevant to all wireless devices emitting radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, including cordless phones, cell phones, IPads, Wi-Fi routers, wireless games, baby monitors, and smart meters . . .
"Many doctors have already given medical advice to their patients by way of a medical letter or note on a prescription form stating that the patient should avoid, for medical reasons, living in a residence or residential complex at which a wireless meter is operating in order to maintain their health or avoid aggravating a medical condition. This medical advice stating the health condition and advising the patient that they should avoid ongoing exposure to wireless radiofrequency and smart meter emissions will allow your patient to participate in the Human Rights Action currently underway. We are hopeful that the individual's right to protect their health as advised by their medical doctor will be upheld by the Human Rights Tribunal, and this forced exposure within their own home to undesirable microwave radiofrequency emissions will be replaced with reasonable and respectful accommodation by BC Hydro . . . "
Information categories contained in this package:
MoveOn Petition to be delivered to BC Provincial Health Office. Petition launched November 6, 2013
This resolution is intended to address the concerns of citizens regarding the escalating growth of wireless radiation in British Columbia. We invite the signatures of medical health professionals and researchers who wish to join with us in bringing attention to the hazards of electromagnetic radiation.
The full text of this petition can be downloaded at www.citizensforsafetechnology.com
One time donation: Click the donate button below and follow the instructions on the screen.
Monthly donation: If you wish to contribute every month, please select the amount from the Donation Options list below and click Subscribe. Your contribution will be sent for you every month for the amount you selected.
Citizens for Safe Technology (CST) is funded and supported solely by those who wish to help us. Thank-you for learning, sharing and helping if you can.
Meetings and events on the issue of wireless technologies in homes and communities throughout North America.
Click the button above to sign our online petition to return to hardwired computers in schools.
Click the button above to sign our online petition against Smart Meters in British Columbia.
Citizens For Safe Technology
"Wi-Fi: Is It Safe?"
Citizens for Safe Technology is a not-for-profit educational society made up of parents, grandparents, teachers, business professionals, scientists, politicians and lawyers concerned about the exponential increase in public exposure to harmful wireless technologies.
We believe a profound urgency exists to protect the unsuspecting public, especially children, youth and pregnant mothers from unsafe wireless technologies.
The content of the Citizens for Safe Technology website is provided for information purposes only. Information is subject to change without prior notice. Every effort has been taken to ensure that the information on this website is accurate, but no guarantees can be made.
Neither Citizens for Safe Technology nor its authors are liable for damages resulting from the use of information obtained from this site. The authors are not responsible for any contents linked or referred to from this website or any damages resulting from information on those sites.
The responsibility for the interpretation and use of the information on this site lies with the reader.