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Posts from the ‘Health and Safety’ Category

Cannabis – A Shift in Perception

With the legalization of cannabis only a couple months away, many Canadians still have reservations about its accessibility and the effects its consumption will have on the workplace.

In the past few years, Canadians have experienced a growing reliance on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Its usage for treatment of pain, relief of cancer symptoms, and epilepsy has paved the way for the legalization of cannabis and has slowly altered the way the general public perceives the historically illegal substance.

Though studies show the majority of Canadians agree with its legalization[i], recreational use of cannabis still has its critics. Here, we examine three areas of concern related to the legalization of cannabis and its impact on the workplace.

Managing a “high” workplace

Though employers must accommodate employees who have prescriptions to use medicinal marijuana, the imminent legalization of cannabis brings up concerns about controlling recreational use at work. Employers have the right to set limitations on the consumption of cannabis on work property in line with a drug-free workplace policy. The policy should outline disciplinary action for offenders in attempts to prohibit impairment on the job.

Managing the credibility of employers and employees

Regardless of the pending legalization, or the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, there is still a stigma surrounding the consumption of cannabis. Once legal, employers should make attempts to change policy vocabulary. For example,  the substance should no longer be defined as “illegal” to recognize the legislated reality and to help shift perceptions away from traditionally negative views of recreational consumption by employees.

Negotiating differences in perceptions across demographics

Cannabis purchases vary based on demographics, with 25-44 year-olds accounting for 40% of the purchases while the 45-64 year-old group accounts for only 23% of cannabis purchases.[ii] Though this number has grown, the large gap in consumption between the age groups indicates greater acceptance towards cannabis from the 25-44 year-old demographic. By instituting a drug-free workplace policy, employers can accommodate the varying perceptions of cannabis across your workforce.

Regardless of the varied perceptions, the legalization of cannabis is imminent, and with it, proposed preventative measures instituting proper control of substance distribution and consumption will be introduced that seek to allay negative perceptions of the legalization of cannabis. Employers can also respond to shifting perceptions with clear workplace policies for their employees.

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.

For more information on how this budding industry will affect organizational policy and job opportunities, stay tuned to our series examining the legalization of cannabis in Canada.




Questions Candidates Should Ask about Occupational Health and Safety

Starting a new job is an exciting prospect – so exciting, in fact, that sometimes it can cloud our better judgment. Once you’ve been offered a position, there are still questions you need to ask of your new employer, particularly when it comes to occupational health and safety. To ensure you stay safe on the job, remember to ask the following: Read more

Occupational Health and Safety for the Office: Top 10

When people think about occupational health and safety, they tend to think about industrial workplaces, littered with warning signs about hardhats, harnesses, steel-toe boots, and hazmat suits. But in quieter corners of the workforce, where the buzz of band saws is otherworldly compared to the hum of Hewlett Packards and the clatter of hammers is replaced by the tapping of keyboards, dangers – not to mention occupational health and safety violations – lurk. And not just in the form of psychological health and safety. The following is a top 10 list of the most commonly overlooked office safety hazards that every employer would do well to investigate. Read more

Occupational Health and Safety for the Mind

Until recently, occupational health and safety referred only to physical health and safety, and company policies reflected that. But in January 2013, after years of growing awareness and concern over the way work can affect people’s mental health, the Mental Health Commission of Canada released the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, which was developed with the cooperation of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the Bureau normalization du Québec (BNQ). According to the commission, one in five people experience mental illness in their life. It contributes to stress, absenteeism, lost productivity, and it has become the leading cause of disability claims in Canada. In fact, the commission projects that mental health issues in the workplace will cost the Canadian economy nearly $200 billion over the next three decades.

The standard was created to help employers ensure that their workplaces are psychologically safe. But what is a psychologically safe workplace? Essentially, it’s one that prevents mental illness and promotes mental health by creating and sustaining an atmosphere of belonging, respect, recognition, and support, and that includes reducing, if not eliminating, the stigma associated with mental health issues. But why now? Why wasn’t the commission’s standard created years ago? What exactly is causing people to take notice of occupational health and safety as it relates to mental wellbeing? Read more

Safety First: Summer Safety Tips

Summer isn’t over yet! In fact, this year, the official first day of fall is September 22. There is still the potential for another heat wave – and maybe even an Indian summer later this year in some parts of the country. *COUGH* Ontario *COUGH*. Remember: safety first. But what’s the best way to stay safe? We asked our resident health and safety expert, Jason Berman, Adecco Canada’s National Manager of Workers’ Compensation, Safety & Compliance, to provide you with some summer safety tips guaranteed to ensure continued fun in the sun! Read more

Burn While You Earn: Working Out at Work

It’s time to get ready for beach season, but what if you’re simply too worn out at the end of the day to hit the gym? Of course, staying in shape isn’t just about looking good for a few months every year. In fact, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends that adults ages 18 to 64 get a total of 150 minutes worth of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise every week in 10-minute bouts, and to work out bones and muscles at least twice a week. That would be easy if you could exercise at work, but how are you supposed to do that?

The truth is, exercising at work may seem like a stretch (pun intended), but it is possible to fit in some easy-to-do activities that, over time, could have an immense impact on your health, quality of life, and how you perform in your job. In fact, that’s why it’s also important that, as an employer, you go a step further and promote fitness at work. Read more