Provided by: Three Sixty Safety
SOME OF YOUR WORKERS ARE HIGH!
With the legalization of marijuana many employers are faced with workers being high on the job. The traditional smell of marijuana that would have tipped you off in the past is no longer an obstacle for workers that get high. This is due to the many legally purchased THC laden odorless vape pens available to them in the market. Workers can get high at their workstation, in the bathroom, on their breaks and when at lunch. In fact, many of them do; and businesses are oblivious to the “stoned worker” on their shop floors.
Here are a few tips to tell if a worker may be under the influence of marijuana:
Physical signs of cannabis intoxication:
- eyes are red, watery or glassy
- smell (not always)
- dry mouth or shallow breathing
- rapid heart rate
Behavior signs of cannabis intoxication:
- delayed reaction time
- unfocused stares
- poor coordination
- impaired judgment
Knowing what to look for is half the battle, educating why this is an issue is another. With marijuana use becoming more and more commonly accepted and legal in society, this problem will creep into every workforce. Education back to the frontline staff needs to focus on the potential impact of being “stoned” on fellow employees. If you make a wrong sweep of the crane because you are not concentrating, you could kill a worker, for example. Take the education not to a level of negativity about the substance itself but educate your staff on how the use of that substance changes how they perform, decisions they make and the impact of those choices.
In order to protect your company and those high workers, employers need to take extra steps to verify all their machinery and equipment safety devices are working properly and that the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is being worn at all times. Although we are not suggesting being complacent with your “stoned” workforce; you must face facts and ensure your safety precautions and measures are always up to date to protect incase of incident. In order to verify your equipment is properly and continually guarded, develop a machine and hand tool guarding checklist to be competed at the beginning of each shift. And, to verify workers are wearing the proper PPE perform a PPE assessment for all jobs (OSHA requires this annually) and a PPE audit for those jobs as well. Of course, if you need help developing any of these tools give us a call at 586-778-9900.
This Safety Matters flyer is for general informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical or legal advice.