X-Ray Machine Radiation Fears Don’t Justify Work Refusal
Airport security agents began a work refusal citing exposure to radiation emitted by a nearby baggage screening device and inadequacy of the lead curtains designed to protect them. The JHSC found no danger but the refusal continued and the government inspector sided with the agents noting that, while remote, the risk of radiation exposure could pose a danger. The case then went to the OHS Tribunal which found that the inspector was wrong. To justify a work refusal, both the probability and severity of the danger must be real, not simply “hypothetical or speculative.” And since the radiation in this case was minimal in dosage and adequately controlled, the agents’ fear of danger wasn’t reasonable or adequate to support a work refusal [Securitas Transport Aviation Security Ltd. v. Doyle, 2018 OHSTC 10 (CanLII), Sept. 17, 2018].