Employees who engage in off-duty marijuana consumption do not display a higher likelihood of encountering workplace injuries when compared to abstainers, according to recent research that challenges the sweeping zero-tolerance policies commonly adopted by employers. On the other hand, individuals who use marijuana during work hours exhibit a nearly twofold increase in the probability of being involved in a workplace incident, in contrast to both nonusers and those who consume marijuana during their personal time.
This discovery stems from a collaborative effort by researchers hailing from the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, the University at Buffalo and the University of Toronto. The findings were recently published in the “Canadian Journal of Public Health.”
In two years, the study tracked 2,746 Canadian workers who occupied positions spanning both safety- and nonsafety-sensitive roles. The exhaustive analysis paid specific attention to the 11.3% subset of the sample who sustained workplace injuries during the specified timeframe.
Among the diverse pool of respondents, the investigation highlighted that 10.2% of those affected by workplace injuries were classified as nonusers, with 11.14% identified as off-duty consumers. Meanwhile, a notable 20.13% reported marijuana consumption either within two hours before or during their working hours.
According to study findings, individuals who admitted to using marijuana within the confines of their workplace exhibited a 1.97 times greater risk of encountering workplace injuries in comparison to those who refrained from such consumption. Conversely, no significant association was observed between nonworkplace usage and the occurrence of workplace injuries.
Consequently, the researchers deduced that the critical factor influencing workplace injuries is the proximity of marijuana use to work hours rather than consumption outside of professional settings.
Stratifying the data for safety-sensitive workers revealed that injury rates stood at 20.14% for nonusers, 23.3% for off-duty consumers, and 31.35% for on-the-job indulgers. For nonsafety-sensitive roles, the figures were notably lower, with nonusers experiencing injury at a rate of 4.27%, off-duty users at 4.19%, and those consuming marijuana during work at a higher 12.3%.
The researchers affirmed that their study provides a more lucid perspective on the connection between marijuana use and workplace injuries, an area that previous conflicting studies have clouded. They explained that prior research had neglected the temporal aspect of consumption concerning workplace injuries, which their study effectively accounted for.
Ultimately, the researchers concluded that solely workplace-related marijuana use poses a genuine risk of future workplace injuries, regardless of whether the job role falls within the safety-sensitive category.
Some of the concerns about marijuana use will likely disappear as more enterprises bring to market cannabis-based formulations along the lines of what IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) is developing for chronic pain management. These medications will move many medical marijuana users away from taking unprocessed cannabis, which is a source of concern for employers and some authorities.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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