December 12, 2022

Safety in the cannabis industry

The cannabis industry is seeing rapid growth as more states legalize cannabis. There’s also rapid consolidation. 

According to a report from Grand View Research, the cannabis industry is set to reach over $102 billion in market size by 2030. This would represent an increase of 25% between 2022 and 2030, making it one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. 

The cannabis market is complex and competitive, but for those in the industry, there is strong potential for robust profits. 

But you can’t realize these profits without the right safety measures. The cannabis market includes chemicals, treatments, packing issues, and the safety hazards that face transportation companies on a daily basis. And cannabis is seeing real consequences to safety. In Massachusetts, one facility was cited by OSHA for issues including “air quality well below acceptable ranges.” In MJ Biz Daily, it indicated one worker died potentially from poor air quality. 

Fortunately, there are ways to create a safe working environment, while also going well beyond the standard cannabis regulations.  

Know the hazards

It’s critical that you fully understand the hazards of your industry. We can’t cover them all here, but you should know the hazards during different phases of cannabis production. Your safety in the cannabis industry should include specific steps for the cultivation, processing, laboratory, and retail phases. 

Follow OSHA requirements for your state. If they don’t exist, California tends to have the most stringent (and safest) workforce requirements. California OSHA includes the following hazards:

  • Electrical Hazards
  • Exposures to Airborne Contaminants
  • Flammable Liquids and Gases
  • Hazard Communication
  • Hazardous Energy – Lockout/Tagout
  • Heat Illness Prevention
  • Injury and Illness Prevention Program
  • Machine Hazards
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Point of Operation Hazards
  • Pressure Vessels
  • Prohibition of Smoking in the Workplace
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries
  • Sanitation and Pest Control
  • Slips, Trips, Falls, and Use of Ladders

Of course tripping, slips, and more can cause serious injuries. Ergonomic issues (such as repetitive motion) can as well. But contact and air quality from grinding products, pesticides, and more can be the most concerning hazards. Respirators, PPE, and air purification devices can help protect your workforce from injuries related to marijuana contact and air quality. Bring in trusted industrial solutions experts to help find the right protective equipment and air purification equipment for your employees.

Train and have the right people in place

Having HR people who are keeping up with labor practices, a strong legal team to provide direction on new cannabis regulation for your state, and talented managers to raise concerns is half the battle. Ensure your employees are being trained on hazards as well as mitigation practices.

The right people in place can help identify cannabis controls so you can quickly respond to potential hazards. Also, continue researching new controls that can help you stay efficient and cost-effective, while still maintaining superb safety. 

Record and document

The cannabis industry, for good reason, is highly regulated. Inspectors have the right (and duty) to inspect your facility without advance notice. They can request records as they see fit, so be sure that everything is recorded, and that all documents are up-to-date. 

Join industry groups and safety conferences 

There is a thriving community of safety and health professionals in the cannabis industry. Tap into these resources for information on best practices and changing methods in the cannabis space, and you’ll be well-positioned to meet future issues. 

Get cannabis safety supplies from a trusted partner

Let us be your partner in the industry. We have a range of PPE and air quality solutions to help your workforce stay protected from harm and your business eschew fines. We also provide packaging and other needed industrial supplies for the marijuana industry.

Christopher Richmann
Author: Christopher Richmann
Kif Richmann is a professional writer and editor who has been creating content since 2011. With degrees in communication and journalism from The University of Iowa, Kif has been a full-time self-employed freelancer since 2014. Throughout his career, he has served numerous industries including manufacturing, real estate, technology, finance, healthcare, transportation, and education.
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