July 5, 2017 – Hamilton, ON – Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
With the anticipation of the sale and use of recreational cannabis scheduled to become legal in Canada by July 1, 2018, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has published a White Paper to help workplaces prepare for the potential challenges and impact this new legislation may have on workplace safety, such as impairment.
The White Paper, Workplace Strategies: Risk of Impairment from Cannabis, offers guidance on how to:
- address the potential for impairment as part of a hazard assessment,
- establish a concise policy and program on the use of any substance that can cause impairment,
- determine the actions the workplace will take regarding impairment,
- implement accommodation practices where necessary (including for therapeutic needs, and substance dependence), and
- create a supportive, healthy, and safe workplace.
The White Paper Workplace Strategies: Risk of Impairment from Cannabis, can be downloaded from the CCOHS website: www.ccohs.ca/products/publications/cannabis/.
“The key issue around the legalization of cannabis for the workplace is impairment. It’s important that we understand the impact impairment can have on workplace safety and be able to respond effectively.”
“To address the impact of impairment on the workplace we must have policies and programs in place that provide clear guidance and support to everyone involved. Ultimately the goal is to create a safe, healthy work environment, and protect workers from injuries and harm.”
- Gareth Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
- The White Paper, authored by CCOHS, underwent a tripartite review by representatives of government, employers and labour.
- The use of cannabis as a therapeutic treatment has been legal in Canada as of 2001, and the sale and use of recreational cannabis will become legal in Canada, with a target date of on or before July 1, 2018.
- The White Paper offers information and recommendations on addressing impairment in the workplace associated with substance use, and is available free, in English and French languages.