A new safety and health guide from Oregon OSHA is intended to help employers and workers in the cannabis industry identify hazards associated with their work and determine how to control them. From the brain of long-time advocate for safety in cannabis, Jeff Jackson, comes an online module complete with step-by-step guides for employers in all sectors of cannabis to maintain a safe environment at the workplace. The guide also helps employers determine which Oregon OSHA rules apply to their businesses and highlights seven “core” requirements that apply to all employers. These requirements are:
1. Identify workplace hazards
- Workplace hazards are anything that puts employees’ health or safety at risk.
- Employers and Employees can all identify hazards.
- You must require employees to report all hazards immediately.
2. Report and record workplace injuries
- Report the death of an employee or catastrophe (two or more employees fatally injured, or three or more employees admitted to a hospital or an equivalent medical facility) within eight hours.
- Report loss of an eye, amputation or avulsion (the tearing away or forcible separation of a body part by trauma) resulting in loss of a bone.
3. Display the Oregon OSHA “It’s the law” poster
- Posters must be put up where employees can see them.
- There is free online access to required posters.
4. Establish a safety committee or hold safety meetings
- If you are a cannabis processor, retailer or grower, the best way to determine if you need these is to read this which covers the requirements.
5. Make sure your employees are properly trained
- Employees must know their safety responsibilities, what hazards they could be exposed to and how to eliminate or control their exposures.
- Employers must ensure new employees are trained to safely do their jobs before they begin working for the first time.
- There needs to be an outline of the hazards for each task.
- Learn more about proper training here.
6. Develop your Oregon OSHA-required programs
- Some Oregon OSHA rules require you to develop different procedures and policies to protect employees.
- There are different programs for growers, processors and retailers–see them here.
7. Prepare for emergencies
- The workplace should have a plan that ensures your employee will respond properly.
- Create an emergency action plan, fire prevention plan, exits and exit routes, as well as exit signs.
- Properly construct hazardous areas such as passageways and rooms.
According to the agency, which operates under federal OSHA’s State Plan program, its rules apply to employers with at least one worker, sole proprietors and anyone who is a member of a partnership that has workers’ compensation coverage.
The guide features seven core requirements for growers, processors and retailers, and lists hazards and hazard topics associated with each role. The unique hazards/topics include mold, pesticides and powered industrial trucks for growers; flammable liquids, compressed gas and lockout/tagout for processors; and violence in the workplace, hazard communication and working surfaces for retailers.
To know if Oregon OSHA’s rules apply to your business, click here.