Workplace Safety Remains Priority with Legalization of Recreational-use Cannabis


St. John’s, NL – With the legalization of recreational-use cannabis, WorkplaceNL is reminding all employers and workers of the safety risks of working while impaired. 

The use of cannabis can impair an individual’s memory, judgement and motor skills. This creates a significant safety risk in the workplace, and even more so in safety-sensitive jobs such as driving, operating heavy equipment or working at height. 

Both employers and workers are responsible for workplace safety. 

Employers are reminded to assess the risk of impairment in their workplace, ensure their impairment policies are up-to-date and educate their workers on those policies. They must continue to protect the health, safety and welfare of their workers. 

Workers are reminded that they are required to report to work fit for duty and to ensure that they do not endanger the health, safety or well-being of themselves or others in the workplace. It is not safe to work while impaired. 

“For many years, Occupational Health and Safety Regulations have prohibited an employer, supervisor or worker from being in a workplace while their ability to perform work is impaired by intoxicating substances, and this will not change with the legalization of cannabis,” said the Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh, Minister Responsible for WorkplaceNL. “It is important that we continue to focus on all aspects of workplace safety, including workplace impairment.” 

“The legalization of recreational-use cannabis gives us all the opportunity to have conversations and take action to prevent workplace injury due to impairment,” said Dennis Hogan, CEO, WorkplaceNL. “Workplace injuries and fatalities have a devastating impact on workers, employers, communities and families. We must all look out for each other and prevent such tragedies.” 

WorkplaceNL has health and safety professionals that assist employers and workers in developing effective occupational health and safety programs.  For assistance, please call 709.778.1552 or toll-free 1.800.563.9000. 

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About WorkplaceNL

Serving approximately 13,000 injured workers and 19,000 employers, WorkplaceNL administers an employer-funded, no-fault insurance system that promotes safe and healthy workplaces, provides return-to-work programs and offers fair compensation to injured workers and their dependents. 

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Media contact:

Carla Riggs, Director of Communications
709.778.1590 or


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