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.

“The key issue around the legalization of cannabis for the workplace is impairment,” said Gareth Jones, president and CEO of CCOHS. “It’s important that we understand the impact impairment can have on workplace safety and be able to respond effectively.”

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.

“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,” Jones said. “Ultimately, the goal is to create a safe, healthy work environment, and protect workers from injuries and harm.”

The white paper can be downloaded for free here.