Jennifer L. Mora
Final month, the Facilities for Illness Management, Nationwide Institute for Occupational Security and Well being, issued a bulletin directed to employers with employees who drive as a part of their jobs. The bulletin, “Marijuana Driving: Learn how to Preserve Your Fleet’s Drivers Secure,” acknowledges that marijuana use is on the rise as a result of explosion of medical and leisure marijuana legal guidelines handed in most states. As a result of “marijuana is probably the most regularly reported drug present in post-crash testing,” the CDC defined that employers ought to handle the problem as a part of their “office motorized vehicle security applications.”
The CDC started with a dialogue of the affect that THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) has on customers. THC is the psychoactive compound that impacts components of the mind that management actions, stability, coordination, reminiscence, and judgment. Particularly, it could actually “impair coordination, distort notion, and result in reminiscence loss and issue in problem-solving.” With respect to the affect that THC has on people after they drive, “THC can gradual response occasions and scale back the flexibility to make choices.” In truth, in keeping with the CDC, the chance of a motorized vehicle crash will increase after the motive force makes use of marijuana. That mentioned, nonetheless, the CDC acknowledges that as a result of THC may be detected within the physique days or even weeks after use, the precise affect the drug might need on the accident just isn’t sure.
What does the CDC suggest for employers with employees who drive as a part of their duties?
- Develop a complete marijuana coverage that accounts for present legal guidelines in every state the place the employer operates, which prohibits staff from utilizing or being underneath the affect of marijuana (or any unlawful drug) whereas working.
- Seek the advice of with counsel skilled with state marijuana legal guidelines in creating a brand new or revising an current drug coverage.
- Define the specifics of any required drug testing if mandated by the coverage, together with the circumstances underneath which testing will happen (e.g., random, cheap suspicion, post-accident, and so forth.), the brink that may represent impairment, and the implications of a constructive take a look at outcome.
- Have interaction a Medical Evaluation Officer to evaluation and interpret THC drug checks.
- Warn drivers that cannabidiol (CBD) merchandise should not regulated, which implies that merchandise labeled “THC-free” or “pure CBD” nonetheless might need THC in them, and that consumption of CBD merchandise with excessive THC ranges might lead to a constructive drug take a look at.
- Present assets to staff with drug issues.
- Educate drivers on the results of marijuana and different medication on protected driving and cognitive skills and the main points of the employer’s drug coverage.
- Practice managers and supervisors on coverage necessities and finest practices for recognizing and documenting indicators of attainable drug impairment.
States proceed to enact leisure and medical marijuana legal guidelines at an rising tempo. Furthermore, as famous by the CDC, marijuana use is on the rise throughout the nation. These two concerns have brought about employers to position larger emphasis on their drug testing insurance policies, particularly for safety-sensitive and different driving roles. Employers in all jurisdictions, particularly in these with drug testing legal guidelines on the books, can be well-advised to contemplate a recent have a look at their drug and alcohol testing insurance policies to make sure not solely compliance with the relevant statutes but in addition that their insurance policies match the corporate’s total views and objectives about applicant and worker marijuana use.