Being safety conscience can help build a culture of safety and help workers be more productive and prevent injury on a daily basis
Protect Your Cannabis Workers
With the recent legalization of cannabis, grow operations have flooded the market and with this comes a growing number of workers who are being employed who may be at risk. Below are potential hazards and health and safety risks that your workers might be exposed to and what personal protective equipment may be able to keep them safe.
Poor indoor air quality is listed as a top five health concern by most major associations and agencies worldwide. Having the right instrumentation is key to having a healthily environment for your workers to function. According to Environment Canada, VOCs are organic compounds with one or more carbon atoms with “high vapour pressures.” This quality causes them to evaporate quickly into the atmosphere. Licensed cannabis producers are required by Health Canada’s regulations to filter air to prevent the escape of VOCs and odours. In addition to being potentially hazardous to the workers inside the cannabis growing, VOCs and (butane) can contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. Ozone can be formed when VOCs (including those from plants, automobile, and industrial sources) combine with nitrogen oxide emissions (often from vehicles or fuel combustion) in the presence of sunlight. Although ozone in the upper atmosphere provides protection from UV rays, ozone at ground-level is a toxic substance that is harmful for humans to breathe.
WORKER SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Ensure the safety of your workers by covering these problem areas with the correct personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Exposure to Molds, Pesticides & Fertilizers
- Excessive UV and CO2 exposure
- Accidental NO, NO2 & CO exposure
- Excessive THC exposure
Occupational exposure to mold can cause nasal congestion, throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, eye irritation and skin irritation. Employees within the cultivation facility and trimming room are at highest risk of mold exposure. Ensure that your workers are safe by having air monitoring in place to determine spore levels that are safe within the work environment.
- Below are some safety hazards that workers could face in a cannabis production environment.
- Respiratory, eye and skin exposures to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) while handling plant buds
- Exposures to different molds, pesticides and fertilizers
- Excessive ultraviolet (UV) exposure from lamps used in indoor facilities
- Accidental carbon monoxide (CO) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) exposure
- Heat-stress from working in outdoor facilities, especially greenhouses