Keep Workers Safe with PPE for Cannabis Growers and Dispensaries
PPE for cannabis growers and dispensaries is important for keeping workers safe in this fast-growing industry. Find out how cannabis PPE can protect workers.
PPE for Cannabis Protects Workers Amid Heightened Production
Several states in the US have begun to legalize recreational or medical cannabis. Greater legalization has led to increased production, making it more critical than ever for cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries to take proper precautions to avoid potential injuries.
Does OSHA Require Employers to Provide PPE for Cannabis Production?
Despite a lack of federal regulation, OSHA has the jurisdiction to inspect cannabis agricultural, retail, and processing operations. In addition, they will cite companies for workplace violations, so now is the time to prepare your cannabis business for an OSHA inspection.
In fact, cannabis-related businesses have lost millions of dollars due to OSHA violations. Some of the most common citations relate to PPE for cannabis. To safeguard your business from citations and keep workers safe, your cannabis cultivation and processing business should assess potential workplace hazards, then train employees in the proper use of PPE. PPE for cannabis will help protect them from chemical, biological, and physical hazards on the job.
When workers encounter chemical compounds used in the production of cannabis, they can experience respiratory irritation, skin rashes, or chemical burns. Cannabis workers may cross paths with chemical hazards like:
Fungicides & Pesticides
Gasoline or other fuels
Mold is the most significant biological danger in cannabis production because the plants must be exposed to a certain level of humidity. These high humidity levels can encourage the growth of mold, which often causes allergic reactions or respiratory issues. In addition, concentrated cannabis resin can prompt allergic reactions like itchy skin or swollen eyes.
Extracting and processing plant matter often requires flammable substances alongside heavy equipment, high pressures, and potentially hazardous cleaning chemicals. Physical hazards can include:
Farming or processing equipment that can injure workers
Malfuction or misuse of pressurized processing equipment
Being exposed to flammable chemicals that may not wash off immediately
Cleaning chemicals can cause skin and respiratory irritation
Workers can be exposed to harsh outdoor conditions
Protect Workers from Hazards with PPE for Cannabis
Stauffer Glove and Safety is a 5th-generation family-owned business that has grown from humble beginnings in 1907 into the largest safety and PPE business in the US. We have deep relationships with suppliers formed over several decades of service in the safety industry. We also have distribution centers strategically positioned near industrial centers to tailor customized services and local inventory to our customers’ specific needs. Rest assured that when you choose Stauffer for your cannabis PPE needs, you are putting your trust in the hands of a company whose number one priority is your safety.
Since most cannabis is slated for human consumption, choosing the right disposable glove PPE for cannabis production is important. The disposable gloves protect employee's hands from cleaning chemicals, allergic reactions, and THC while also protecting the cannabis from potential contamination. Choose a disposable glove with a maximum AQL of 2.5 (medical grade) to protect your workers and product.
Engineering controls should be implemented to ensure proper ventilation, thus reducing the risk of exposure to CO, CO2, and NOx. During normal operations, respiratory PPE for cannabis like an N95 Disposable Respirator can help minimize exposures to mold, dusts, pesticides, cleaning agents, or other chemicals being used onsite. N95 Disposable Respirators are rated to filter out 95% of airborne particulates.
Workers in the cannabis production industry must protect their face and eyes from THC, pesticides, and other chemicals outlined above. Flying debris may create projectile hazards from the harvesting and processing of cannabis. Employers should consider the hazards related specifically to their work site and determine if eye and face PPE for cannabis like safety eyewear, a full face shield, or some combination is necessary.
Like all PPE for cannabis, the best protective clothing for growers is as comfortable as it is safe. High quality protective clothing that offers comfort on top of safety is more likely to be used regularly. In addition, protective clothing protects the plants themselves. Since most cannabis produced is slated for human consumption, the utmost care must be taken to avoid contamination. Protective clothing PPE for cannabis ensures that human workers do not contaminate the plants with their bodily fluids, skin flaking, hair shedding, fingernail dirt, and other bodily debris.
Compressors, moving equipment, conveyors, and chippers are all examples of equipment that may emit significant noise during cannabis production. Per OSHA 29 CFR 1910.95, employers must provide a variety of suitable hearing protectors which may include in-ear and over-the-ear protection. Employers must also provide training and ensure initial proper fit of hearing PPE for cannabis.