Last month, Illinois became the 11th state in the country to legalize marijuana use on a recreational basis. For a variety of employers, the new law brings new questions about workplace safety – namely, what is and isn’t allowed in order to preserve safety on the roads and in the work environment?
First, let’s talk a bit first in this article about the potential impact to your business on the work safety front and what you need to know. Then we’ll discuss several smart ways you can implement and strengthen your policies to ensure best practices that protect your people from harm due to an employee influenced by the effects of marijuana on the job.
One of the biggest dangers in a state like Illinois where marijuana use is now legal is that an employee could get behind the wheel or operate heavy machinery while impaired. Here’s where it gets a little tricky: There’s technically little wrong with an employee using marijuana but there’s a LOT wrong with an employee who is impaired from doing their job thanks to the usage of marijuana.
The fact is, marijuana is not without its effects. It can potentially impact a person’s judgment and response time. Think of it like this – there’s technically nothing wrong with a person drinking alcohol but drinking alcohol on the job would be disastrous, right? It’s a similar principle here. We’ve seen more accidents on the road with states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana use. That’s less to say that marijuana itself is bad as much to say that, used in the wrong time and place, it can have severe and even deadly consequences.
Spotting The Red Flags Of Impairment Due To Marijuana Use
Is the employee:
- Slurring their speech in an unusual manner?
- Lacking physical coordination performing actions that are usually second nature to them or should be very easy to do?
- Acting in a way that is radically out of character for their typical behavior?
If so, it’s time to pull them off the factory or office floor before they cause further disruption, damage property or injure themselves and others.
In our follow-up to this article, we’ll discuss the steps you can take as an employer when it’s very clear that impairment on the job is happening due to marijuana use.
Wondering what you can do right now to minimize the potential of accidents for this reason and other areas of liability? Call SOS Technologies right now to talk to us about proper policy creation and safety training for you and your entire team at 888.705.6100.