As part of ongoing efforts to help prepare workplaces for the legalization of cannabis, WorkSafe Saskatchewan has added some additional resources for employers to its website and launched an awareness campaign targeting Saskatchewan workers.
WorkSafe, in partnership with Miller Thomson, MNP and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, has developed a video resource for employers to answer some of the questions surrounding the legalization of cannabis. This 30-minute moderated panel discussion, hosted by Kevin Mooney, Director of Prevention at Saskatchewan WCB, draws on the expertise of legal professionals from Miller Thomson and human resources professionals from MNP. It is part of a collection of tools and resources that WorkSafe is hosting on its website for employers and workers to access.
“Many of our industry partners came to us with concerns about the potential impacts of cannabis in workplaces, especially in safety-sensitive industries,” said Mooney. “The video panel discussion is a follow-up to the workshops that we put on in the spring, in partnership with local chambers of commerce, where we connected local companies with legal and human resources expertise. We have now taken that content and made it readily available to every employer in the province.”
Other education efforts to date include keynote speakers at Compensation Institute – the WCB’s annual compensation conference – one-day workshops with local chambers, and a link to tools and resources on the WorkSafe website.
The legalization of cannabis is a complex issue. WorkSafe wants employers to be aware that it is not just about cannabis in the workplace; it is also about ensuring that all forms of impairment – the use of drugs or alcohol, or being overtired and fatigued – are addressed.
“Workplaces have always had to deal with impairment,” said Mooney. “The soon-to-be legalization of cannabis has drawn attention to the need for employers to update, or in some cases develop, their workplace impairment policy.”
WorkSafe has also launched an online ad campaign to educate workers that being impaired at work is a risk to their safety and the safety of others.
“Saskatchewan workers need to understand that just because using cannabis recreationally and medically is now going to be legal, it is not okay to come to work impaired,” said Mooney. “Being impaired at work is a hazard and poses a serious safety risk to the individual worker and others in the workplace.”
WorkSafe is encouraging employers to have conversations with their employees about impairment, the company’s impairment policy, and the legal consequences and safety risk of being impaired at work.
“In order for us to reduce workplace injuries and achieve Mission: Zero, workers and employers need to be aware of the risks and take preventative steps,” said Mooney. “Every worker has the right to a safe work environment and the ability to go home safely at the end of their day.”
To access the tools and resources that WorkSafe Saskatchewan has made available to employers related to the legalization of cannabis and workplace impairment, visit www.worksafesask.ca/cannabis
To view a list of resources available through the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), visit https://www.ccohs.ca