Establishing a health and safety program in any business is vital. It reduces workplace incidents and createsa better working environment. Cannabis production health and safety issues for employees are handled differently in every state.
Cannabis businesses know that they must address hazards like dermal, eye, and respiratory exposures to THC, pesticides, and fertilizers.Other areas to address are excessive UV light in indoor facilities, accidental nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide exposure, repetitive stress injuries, and mold exposure from improper ventilation in facilities.
On the Job Training
Training of employees on policies, procedures, and health and safety is a must.However, a 2017 study entitled, “Work and Well-Being in the Colorado Cannabis Industry illustrated that 23 percent of employees never received on-the-job health and safety training. When they did, the quality and amount of training differed from company to company. Workers also expressed concern for issues involving air quality and ergonomic risk factors. Employees generally only saw their health as “fair.” There were four common symptoms that cannabis workers recorded after working with pesticides. They were eye irritation, skin irritation, headaches, and dizziness.
Recommendations from the study included educating and training workers on hazards associated with cultivation, trimming, and selling cannabis products. Training should also cover Legal and HR compliance, general hazardous materials, and driving.
Research from this study also suggested that cannabis businesses should implement formal rules and policies on the use of the herb while working. Not only will this make the workplace safer,it could also reduce the stigma related to employee cannabis usage at work. Combating the stigma that shadows the cannabis industry is essential to the professional image of the marketplace.