The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is now very active in Colorado and other states where marijuana is legally sold. As many marijuana businesses have grown rapidly and occasionally unchecked, compliance with required OSHA, CalOSH regulations is critical for a marijuana business to survive. Fines and citations proposed from OSHA are usually significant and can often close down businesses that are unable to absorb the financial impact. The Top 5 OSHA Infractions for Cannabis Businesses are as follows:
- The facility does not have a written Hazard Communication Plan that describes how it achieves compliance with: (1) labels on hazardous containers; (2) MSDSs for all chemicals and pesticides; and (3) hazardous chemical training for employees.
- All relevant employees have not been trained on hazardous materials in use at the facility prior to their initial work assignment and when new hazards are introduced, and documented as required.
- The facility does not have required OSHA documentation related to workplace injury, OSHA Form 300, or Form 301 if injuries have occurred, on file.
- The facility does not have a formal fire prevention plan (written with more than 10 employees) that addresses major hazards in the facility, accumulation of waste material, maintenance of heat-producing equipment and names and titles of employees responsible for various parts of the plan.
- Required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has not been evaluated and documented, along with associated training plans and verification for employees.
Once OHSA, CalOSH becomes involved in an incident or inspection, the facility can be expected to have repeated inspections for the foreseeable future.
Each visit can reveal additional infractions and potential OSHA, CalOSH citations. Ensure strong compliance with a written and effective Hazard Communication Plan up front, along with documented training processes can save your business hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, compliance and legal costs.
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- On October 25th, there will be a Cal/OSHA – Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee Meeting. For more information, click here.