Ergonomics and the associated employer requirements to maintain safe workplaces, especially in industries where repetitive motion injuries are common, are at the forefront of modern claim prevention. However, the legal cannabis industry could be especially vulnerable.Workers' Compensation
As a legalization shift sweeps the nation, responsible cannabis growers in California are uniquely positioned to lead the way, while others either comply or face hefty penalties.
Alex Hearding, Chief Risk Management Officer of the National Cannabis Risk Management Association (NCRMA), believes the issue is primed for disruption due to the differences between the OSHA General Duty Clause and the California Ergonomics Standard. A perfect example of how state laws can supersede and augment vague federal standards.
While the familiar OSHA General Duty Clause effectively addresses ergonomic risks generally and OSHA guidance states that, “even if there are no guidelines specific to your industry, as an employer you still have an obligation under the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) to keep your workplace free from recognized serious hazards, including ergonomic hazards,” the California Ergonomics Standard will likely become the cannabis industry standard given that California outstrips any other part of the nation in terms of cannabis production.