Pete has called the abuse hotline to report he is being forced to work in a dangerous situation. Pete works for TNT and they hired him as a maintenance technician to fix equipment. TNT wants Pete to fix an industrial shredder. Pete claims that the shedder is in a tight corner that makes it unsafe and the vibrations of the shredder irritate Pete when he turns the machine on and off. A previous employee was injured from working on the machine because of limited space to work. The machine was moved to create space but very little. Pete does not believe it is currently safe to work on the machine.
The safety manager for TNT states that the work area safe. Pete says he gets claustrophobic when working in the tight space. Pete refuses to work on the machine stating that this condition arose out of his employment making this a worker compensation issue. TNT has threatened to fire Pete if he does not work on the equipment.
What liability, if any, does TNT have in this situation?
What regulatory and compliance requirements and legal principles (statutory or case law) are relevant to this situation?
TNT does have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment. However if TNT's safety manager claims the area to be safe, then that is TNT's stance. Therefore, I believe that if Pete does not perform the work then he will in fact be fired.
On the other hand if Pete is in ...
This solution discusses a company's liability, regulatory and compliance requirements, and legal principles in a dangerous workplace situation.