Many jobs such as firefighting, skyscraper window cleaning have some degree of danger inherent in the job. Workers in those jobs know that they have to perform the normal, occasionally dangerous, duties of those jobs. But no matter what your job, you are not expected to perform work when your employer has not taken reasonable precautions to protect you from injury and provide workplace safety. Your state may have a law that allows you to refuse such work.
If your employer fails to provide reasonable precautions, you should first tell your employer that you think the work is unsafe according to the labor laws of your state. Then, you should give your employer the chance to correct the dangerous condition. Finally, if your employer refuses to correct the dangerous condition, and you decide that you will not risk serious injury or death by continuing to work, you should notify your employer why you will not perform the work.
This is a very difficult area, and you should consider contacting an labor law attorney before you decide to refuse to perform dangerous work – because if you are wrong you might be fired for refusing to work. And if your employer does fire you for refusing to perform dangerous work, you should contact a labor lawyer who can help you prove that your refusal to work was a reasonable one. If you need further information about workplace safety, contact a labor lawyer in your area.