The long term success of the medical cannabis industry rides on its people. Business leaders will push the overall strategy and direction, but it is their employees who will primarily be tasked with making the company go. Employee engagement and safety is paramount to any business, and the cannabis industry is no different. One great way to help foster engagement in the safety program is through the formation of a safety committee. Safety committees increase buy in among employees, improve relationships between employees and management, help efficiently solve safety issues, and ultimately make your grow facility or dispensary a better place to work. The discount on worker’s compensation insurance for those in Pennsylvania is only an added bonus! Below we’ve highlighted a few key considerations when forming a safety committee.
- Choose your members wisely! It is important to choose employees who are already engaged with the organization and are mid to high-performing employees. Ideally they have some informal influence within the organization but are not necessarily in a management position. Provide opportunity for new members to join periodically throughout the year and also rotate members on a regularly scheduled basis to continually have fresh eyes on the safety function of the organization.
- Address safety concerns and issues immediately: Not only will this positively impact the overall safety of your workforce, but it will also help your safety committee gain credibility as an impactful program within the organization. Give all employees a medium through which they can submit safety improvements and suggestions. Communicate who is on the safety committee to the entire organization so employees know who to go to with safety concerns.
- Include technical training: Equip not just members of the committee but all employees with the skills and training needed to perform daily tasks in a safe and efficient manner. Training on proper lifting techniques, CPR certification, and fire safety are all great ways to ensure a safer employee population. Regularly conduct personal protection equipment assessments especially in areas with a higher exposure to C02, CO, pesticides, and fungicides.
Finally, do not create your safety committee on your own! Partner with a risk management consultant who can advise on choosing members, attend initial meetings, and even provide meeting content. One great meeting topic to consider right away is employee crime response training. Be sure to check out Viridis Security Group’s blog on Employee Crime Response Training for more ideas.
– The Viridis Team