Workplace impairment, whether by fatigue, use of drugs (over the counter, prescription, illicit, marijuana) or consumption of alcohol, can have serious consequences.
The key steps to reducing the impact of impairment on the workplace are to have appropriate mechanisms in place, to provide clear guidance to all workplace parties and to apply workplace policies and programs using a fair and consistent approach.
Legalization of Recreational Cannabis (Marijuana)
The legalization of recreational cannabis (marijuana) on October 17, 2018 requires Ontario employers to prepare for a new regulatory landscape.
Under the legislation, which makes amendments to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, the use of recreational cannabis in workplaces is banned. Similar to tobacco, employers are required to take active steps to enforce the ban. As such, many organizations are moving to include cannabis use and its implications in their existing health and safety policies and programs.
Please note that use of cannabis for medical purposes has been legal in Canada since 1999. While human rights laws require accommodation of employees with medical needs or substance dependence, there is also the general duty requirement for employers to ensure a safe workplace. It is important to understand the distinction between accommodating the employee and accommodating the disability. The goal is to balance the rights of the employee with those of the employer.
How WSPS can help
WSPS supports the prevention of injury and illness as they relate to workplace impairment from cannabis use. Please contact customercare@WSPS.ca for more information on how we can help. Some of the ways we can assist, whether in-person or online, include:
- Creation or revision of policies and programs - As with any legislative change, WSPS can assist with the establishment or revision of policies and programs so that they meet federal and provincial occupational health and safety requirements.
- Guidance on how to address the potential risk for impairment - We can provide customers with guidance on how to address the potential risk for impairment as part of a hazard/risk assessment.
- Referrals to reputable third-party providers - We can refer you to reputable third-party providers for services and resources that go beyond our mandate (please refer to the list below).
Please note that a unique set of hazards places workers involved in the production, processing and/or distribution of cannabis at risk. For information and assistance, inquire about WSPS' consulting services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WSPS Consulting Solutions
We deploy best-in-class knowledge, experience and quality management standards. Our experts assist you with the development and implementation of leading practices. For impairment in the workplace, we can assist in creating or revising policies and programs and provide guidance on addressing the potential risk for impairment as part of a hazard/risk assessment.
For more information