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Marijuana in the Workplace

Marijuana in the Workplace

As cannabis legalization sweeps across the country, those who use the substance are applauding. However, those who employ these users are now left wondering how to navigate the minefield of legal usage of a substance that was once illegal. Questions about employee rights, the legality of drug testing post-hire and other human resources issues should always be handled by an experienced HR professional or qualified labor attorney.  While Hayes Brokers are not legal professionals, we can advise on the insurance aspects of cannabis use in the workplace. Here is how marijuana usage on the job may affect your insurance policies and premiums: Can You Get Insured or Bonded? Liability insurers and bonding companies typically do not ask for evidence of drug-free employees before insuring a business for liability.  However, an employer’s main concern should be providing a safe work environment that also allows for the completion of projects in a timely manner pursuant to contract. Bonding companies may nonrenew bonds or decline to insure contractors who habitually fail to perform their contractual obligations.  Liability insurance companies may also nonrenew or decline to write policies for any business that has large or frequent claims.  Impaired employees can contribute to both of these, costing employers in increased insurance premiums for years to come. As the legalization of marijuana continues across the country, insurance companies may begin to include questions about drug free programs and marijuana usage on applications as part of the underwriting process. A strict company policy on these issues will make these questions easier to answer. How Will Your Workers Compensation Coverage Be Affected? Workers Compensations pays claims on...
Should You Be Afraid of OSHA?

Should You Be Afraid of OSHA?

It is a phrase likely to strike fear in even the most experienced of business owners: “OSHA is coming!”  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a reputation for being tough on businesses when they are down, and the thought of an inspection by OSHA can be daunting. OSHA might not be the bad guys they have been made out to be, and here is why.   They Are Here To Help The main focus of OSHA is in their name: “occupational safety” and “occupational health”. The mission of OSHA is “to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance” (from About OSHA). Your business wants a safe and healthy work environment for your employees to reduce employee illness or injury, downtime and workers compensation premiums.  OSHA provides a wealth of training and resources by industry to help you do all of these things.   Inspections Can Be A Good Thing One of the biggest ways OSHA can help is by performing workplace inspections.  Why, then, do so many companies fear an OSHA inspection? There are two main types of inspections that OSHA performs: Planned or programmed investigations. These are planned by the department, but are still surprise inspections of certain high-hazard industries and individual workplaces that have demonstrated high rates of illness or injury. Incident-related inspections. While these are still surprise inspections, the employer should be expecting an OSHA inspector if there has recently been an on-the-job fatality or catastrophe, an imminent danger situation, a complaint filed by an employee (usually...