24 October 2018
Recreational use of cannabis became legal in Canada on October 17, and AgSafeis helping BC’s agriculture employers understand the implications for their workplace health and safety programs.
To start, basic health and safety program principles regarding impairment in the workplace still apply and we recommend that employersfocus on impairment and safety, rather than the individual’s use.
We have added a new Workplace Impairment Policy template for employer use. The template can be downloaded from the Safe Operating Practices section on our website.
Impairment is the diminished ability of an individual to function or behave in a usual or safe manner. An individual’s response to THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis,varies based on the amount consumed, method of consumption, and metabolism.
Employers have a duty to inquire about impairment if the employee puts their safety or the safety of others at risk; if there is a motor vehicle safety incident or near miss; or if the individual’s performance is having other serious impacts on co-workers.
An employer must not knowingly permit an employee to remain at any workplace while that person’s ability to work is affected by alcohol, a drug or other substance, and endangering the safety of the individual or others.
If impairment is suspected, the priority should be on the safety of the individual and othersrather than the impairment. It is important to follow policy and procedures respectfully, fairly and with unbiased treatment of all individuals.
Substance use & impairment in the workplace – https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/hazards-exposures/substance-use-impairment
Government of British Columbia
Bill C-30 Cannabis Control & Licensing Act – https://www.leg.bc.ca/parliamentary-business/legislation-debates-proceedings/41st-parliament/3rd-session/bills/third-reading/gov30-3
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