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We recently had an construction executive who was asked to carry out a task. He refused and was fired. He now claims that the task was dangerous and hazardous to his being. Who is right?

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Can employees choose to avoid work that's precarious? Probably. Department of Labor regulations refer to OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) law as the key. An employee can say "I pass" on an assigned task because of an "apprehension of death or serious injury," coupled with a reasonable belief that the danger cannot be easily eliminated under standard OSHA procedures.
But what if there's too little time to go through OSHA channels? In dire times, the employee who refuses in good faith to expose himself to the dangerous condition would be protected from discrimination (as in firing).
Rights not to get hurt or die don't mean an employee can simply walk off the job when danger lurks. The employee must make efforts to give the construction employer a chance to correct the condition, if possible, and, if appropriate, an OSHA workplace inspection.
Although it looks as though the material was written by a life-form on a distant planet, the OSHA Web site (osha.gov; click on Workers' Page) is the place to read about your legal safeguards for dangerous jobs Added by:- Admin