Canadian Study Finds Marijuana Use Does Not Decrease Workplace Safety

Canadian Study Finds Marijuana Use Does Not Decrease Workplace Safety

According to a new study conducted at the University of Toronto, marijuana use does not appear to increase the risk of workplace injury. The study, titled Cannabis use and work-related injuries: a cross-sectional analysis, was published in the journal Occupational Medicine and was e-published by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“Although the association of cannabis use with automobile accidents has been well-studied, the impact of cannabis on workplace safety and injuries is less clear”, states the study’s abstract. With this in mind, the aim of the study was to “examine the relationship between work-related injury and cannabis use in the past year.”

For the study researchers “performed a cross-sectional analysis of the Canadian Community Health Survey (2013-16) of working individuals.” They used “multiple logistic regression modelling to calculate the odds of experiencing a work-related injury (defined as non-repetitive strain injury) among workers who reported using cannabis more than once during the prior 12 months as compared to non-users. We repeated the analysis among participants working in high injury risk occupational groups only.”

Among the 136 536 working participants, 2577 (2%) had a work-related injury in the last 12 months. Of these 2577 who had a work-related injury, 4% also reported being a cannabis user in the same period. Researchers “found no association between past-year cannabis use and work-related injury (odds ratio for work injury among users 0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.66-0.99). The association was unchanged in the subgroup analysis limited to high injury risk occupational groups.”

The study concludes by stating: “We found no evidence that cannabis users experienced higher rates of work-related injuries. While awaiting prospective studies, occupational medicine practitioners should take a risk-based approach to drafting workplace cannabis policies.”

Below is the full abstract of the study:

Background: Although the association of cannabis use with automobile accidents has been well-studied, the impact of cannabis on workplace safety and injuries is less clear.

Aims: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between work-related injury and cannabis use in the past year.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis of the Canadian Community Health Survey (2013-16) of working individuals. We used multiple logistic regression modelling to calculate the odds of experiencing a work-related injury (defined as non-repetitive strain injury) among workers who reported using cannabis more than once during the prior 12 months as compared to non-users. We repeated the analysis among participants working in high injury risk occupational groups only.

Results: Among the 136 536 working participants, 2577 (2%) had a work-related injury in the last 12 months. Of these 2577 who had a work-related injury, 4% also reported being a cannabis user in the same period. We found no association between past-year cannabis use and work-related injury (odds ratio for work injury among users 0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.66-0.99). The association was unchanged in the subgroup analysis limited to high injury risk occupational groups.

Conclusions: We found no evidence that cannabis users experienced higher rates of work-related injuries. While awaiting prospective studies, occupational medicine practitioners should take a risk-based approach to drafting workplace cannabis policies.

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