Council of Construction Associations

WorkSafeBC launches impairment awareness campaign

WorkSafeBC launches impairment awareness campaign

VICTORIA — With recreational cannabis use legal as of Oct. 17, WorkSafeBC is launching an awareness campaign about workplace impairment for both employers and employees.

WorkSafeBC has created a guide for managing workplace impairment and developing policy around the issue. A toolbox meeting guide is also available on its website.

“An impairment policy that takes a fit-to-work approach to impairment can help employers meet their workplace-safety obligations. It’s also very important that employers clearly communicate their impairment policy to workers,” said WorkSafeBC director of prevention practices and quality Tom Brocklehurst in a statement.

The awareness campaign includes educational materials and radio ads in Kamloops, Kelowna, Prince George, the Lower Mainland and Victoria, and additional ads in Vancouver in Cantonese, Mandarin and Punjabi. The ads begin airing on Oct. 22.

Under current occupational health and safety regulations, employers must not allow an employee impaired by alcohol, drugs or any other substance to perform work that could endanger themselves and others or allow an employee to remain at a workplace while they are unable to work safely due to impairment.

Workers also have to ensure their ability to perform safe work isn’t impaired by alcohol, drugs or other causes, and cannot work if their impairment will endanger either themselves or anyone else. Workers also need to notify their supervisor if their ability to work is impaired for any reason.

“Impairment in the workplace isn’t a new issue in B.C., but it’s become top of mind as cannabis becomes legal for recreational use. We’re reaching out to employers and workers to remind them that they share responsibility for managing impairment in the workplace,” Brocklehurst said.