Every year more and more states legalize cannabis. It's a mature industry when you consider how long marijuana has been used by mankind, but a new industry when you think about the product and a workplace that must operate under established rules and regulations. Traditional marijuana growers and handlers can provide lots of anecdotal stories about safety issues in the workplace, but there is no “hard data” to say what may or may not be a potential health issue.
But let’s take a non-scientific look at what might happen. Let’s look at the product itself. Marijuana, particularly those varieties that are cultivated today, are much more potent than what the users of the late sixties and seventies typically used. There are simply much higher levels of TCH (Tetrahydrocannabinol) in today’s products. So, it only makes sense that anyone handling and processing marijuana or any of its derivatives should develop and implement safety programs aimed at ensuring that their workers and, ultimately their customers, are protected. And, to “cover your own butt,” you need to properly train your people on best practices and document that the training has been done.
So, how should you train your people? The proper use of personal protective equipment (“PPE”) ensures that employees are not inadvertently exposed to the product and the active chemical. This means the proper use of gloves, masks, sleeves, and lab coats. Gloves are the most obvious example, but the type of glove will vary with the application. For a company that is using THC extracts, a heavy, impermeable glove would be the answer. For persons handling buds or powdered marijuana, disposable or light multiple use gloves would be the answer. The goal is to ensure that the worker’s skin is not exposed to the active ingredient.
The other element to ensure safety is a mask or respirator. Workers should not be exposed to the oil or dust from the product itself. In fact, the Safety Data Sheet (“SDS”) for THC oil highlights the two points noted above.
CannaSafeSolutions can help cannabis handlers and processors find the appropriate PPE for their operations. Browse our extensive selection to find the appropriate, cost-effective safety solutions to protect cannabis workers.