Health and Safety Hazards in the Cannabis Industry
The cannabis industry is rapidly growing, and as a result, health and safety hazards are becoming more apparent. As a business operating in the space, you need to be proactive and learn how to assess and control all potential exposures to dangerous chemicals used in processing and the product itself.
What Does the Cannabis Industry Include?
The cannabis industry includes all of those involved in the cultivation, distribution, lab testing, manufacturing and retail sale of cannabis products. If you’re a cannabis industry employer in California, you’re required to have a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program that includes methods for identifying and correcting health and safety hazards in the workplace and providing training to allow for employees to complete their job duties safely. While legislators in Maryland are still determining exact employer requirements, it is better to be proactive than to have a dangerous incident occur.
Potential Health and Safety Hazards
Depending on what position someone holds and their associated job duties, there are
numerous potential hazards that can be associated with their work. For example,cultivators are regularly exposed to potential health and safety hazards including mold,pesticides, carbon monoxide, allergens, lighting hazards and unsafe walking or working surfaces. Contrast those potential hazards with the situations that a laboratory technician would face—exposure to solvents and ergonomic challenges. It is vital that all employees understand the specific risks that they may encounter.
Throughout the industry, some of the most common hazards include:
- Sensitizers and allergens, including marijuana plants themselves
- Carbon dioxide
- Carbon monoxide
- Poor indoor air quality
- Cleaning chemicals
- Compressed gas
- Electrical hazards
- Lighting hazards (particularly for metal halide lights that emit UV rays)
- Extraction equipment
- Flammable and combustible liquids
- Workplace violence
- Walking and working surfaces
- Machines and hand tools
Offering Healthy and Safety Hazard Trainings
Both large and small cannabis industry employees need to create injury and illness prevention programs. Hawkeye Safety can help your business in creating a written plan for identifying, preventing and remedying hazards in the workplace that are unique to the cannabis industry. We can also assist in training all of your staff in what position-specific dangers they may encounter, which helps your business to meet your obligation to state law. Once training is completed, we can provide you with a record of the training and any other necessary documents to ensure continued safety.
Ensure Health and Safety Standards Are Upheld with Hawkeye Safety
Hawkeye Safety offers a broad range of services to our business partners, including safety training, staffing and consulting. We pride ourselves on being “the only safety department you will ever need.” To learn more about our trainings designed to help businesses in the cannabis industry, contact us today by calling (800) 565-1157 or visiting our website.