Contractor association warned governments about legalizing pot and here come the consequences
What happened Wednesday, with the shutdown of Toronto’s $5.3-billion Crosstown LRT project because of workers smoking weed, may be just be the beginning
April 13, 2018 by Steve Payne
Whatever you personally believe about Ottawa’s legalization of marijuana, there is little doubt that our industry has a massive problem on its hands. So do all industries in which machinery, misjudged and mishandled, can kill.
Workers smoking pot during their work hours – in the same way that they smoke cigarettes on breaks – have always existed. But the problem is, governments across Canada have sent a clear signal to society: Smoking weed is harmless and it’s your right to get high, whenever you want.
Although weed is not yet legal, there is lots of anecdotal evidence about workers becoming more cavalier about toking on the job.
Just this week, the $5.3-billion Crosstown LRT construction project in Toronto was shut down for the day after three workers were found smoking pot. Again, pot has been smoked on construction sites for decades. But it has never been necessary to warn workers that this is illegal and stupid from a safety point of view. Now it is necessary.
The Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) saw all of this coming last July when it told an Ontario government hearing that our industry has a “significant problem” with drugs and alcohol.
The OGCA told the assembled politicians that legalization of pot would lead to a “significant increase in usage (of pot), leading to a spike in workplace injuries and fatalities.”
And what has Ottawa done – or any province for that matter – to make sure there are accurate and efficient methods of testing employees, on the spot, for marijuana consumption, if they are operating machinery that can kill?
Absolutely nothing. The votes were already counted and now the money is going to roll in.
Wonder who’s going to be Canada’s first legal-pot-related construction death? And how old they will be?