On October 17, 2018, recreational cannabis will be legal in Canada. In preparation, businesses have diligently updated their Alcohol and Drug (A&D) Policies and educate employees about the potential impacts of cannabis use on their health and safety.
There is a lot of literature available about legalization and we are here to help you navigate what’s most important. If you take away just one piece of information, it is this – legalization does not change employer’s legal and moral responsibility to administer their A&D Policy, manage health and safety risks and protect employees from harm.
Fit for Duty (Employee Responsibility)
- Be fit for duty regardless of what causes impairment.
– alcohol, drugs, fatigue medications, cannabis.
- Possession and use continues to be prohibited on work premises.
- Pertains to all forms of cannabis (dried, oils, derivatives & edible products).
- If you are worried about a coworker’s fitness for duty:
– Contact your supervisor.
– Reference your A&D policy.
Impairment Signs to Look For (Cognitive)
- Mood shifts (tense to relaxed)
- Increased sociability/or withdrawal
- Perceptual changes (time, spatial, slurred speech)
Impairment Signs to Look For (Physical)
- Red eyes
- Dry mouth
- Poor muscle coordination
- Delayed reaction time
- Increased appetite
- Psychomotor impairment
- Increased respiratory rate
- Increased blood pressure & pulse
- Lack of convergence of eyes
No Changes to Urine Drug Testing – THC
Below are urine drug test parameters before and after legalization of Cannabis on October 17th, 2018
Criminal Code of Canada (Protecting Employees)
- Employer has obligation to prevent bodily harm in the workplace.
- OH&S legislation – employer must take reasonable steps to protect employees.
- Includes obligation to ensure employee is not impaired at work.
Canadian Human Rights Act (Federal Law)
- Legalization extends to disables employees who use cannabis.
- Employers have a Duty to Accommodate to the point of undue hardship.
- Employers required to accommodate employees with addictions.
Current Training Programs
- Navigating the Future of Cannabis in the Workplace (1 hour speaking engagement)
- Fit for Duty Training: Impairment Recognition & Reasonable Cause (3 hours)
- Fit for Duty Alcohol and Drug Policy Review