Dealing with Legalized Marijuana in Today’s Workplace

Over the past several years, legalized marijuana has been a hot button topic at any HR webinar, seminar, or conference that I’ve attended.  I’ve heard the statistics and listened to the concerns, and the only things that remain constant through each training is that the laws surrounding legalized marijuana are forever changing.  A head-scratcher that keeps HR Managers, like me, on their toes – so much is still unknown around legalized marijuana.

As employers, what we must focus on is how marijuana use may be impacting the safety of our employees.  THC in marijuana affects reaction time, depth perception, coordination and other motor skills as well as creates sensory distortion.  If you are anything like me, coordination is a concern on any given day (you should see my dance moves). When you have an employee using marijuana and ask him or her to operate machinery, drive a forklift, or handle a client’s expensive tools and equipment, the circumstances could be costly, but also deadly.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently conducted a study that found that employees who tested positive for marijuana had 55% more industrial accidents, 85% more injuries, and 75% greater absenteeism compared to those who tested negative.

As the laws evolve, PMG will continue to be a drug- and alcohol-free company.  No matter how everything develops, safety will ALWAYS be a bullet on every employee’s job description, we can guarantee you that.

 

About the Author

Beth BangtsonHuman Resources Manager

Road Warrior

What it’s like to be a traveling technician.

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