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Weeds on Wheels: Pinnacol provides tips to employers, workers, and consumers on how to avoid new safety hazards caused by Colorado’s growing cannabis delivery sector

Weeds on Wheels: Pinnacol provides tips to employers, workers, and consumers on how to avoid new safety hazards caused by Colorado’s growing cannabis delivery sector

  • 11/9/21
  • WorkersCompensation.com

Denver, Colorado (WorkersCompensation.com) – Pinnacol Assurance, Colorado’s largest employee insurance company, is advising employers and consumers on new workplace hazards associated with a new service across the state – cannabis product delivery. The carrier provides resources and tips to help prevent employee injury and illness.

The insurer has brought in its occupational safety experts – the largest team in the state – to analyze past claims trends, predict what new dangers employers should expect, and provide guidance on what to do. Pinnacol safety experts say the new threats fall into the following categories:

  1. Violence and safety in the workplace (delivery of the product and close contact with people, shelter animals, product transfer)
  2. Driving safety (distractions, car accidents)
  3. Running surfaces (tripping hazards, slips and falls)
  4. ergonomics

“Driving is one of the riskiest behaviors for workers in Colorado, resulting in more than 40% of deaths in any given year, but many companies operate driving services very safely,” said Randy Philabaum, Pinnacol safety advisor. “Awareness of new hazards and the right training, equipment and guidelines can help companies enter this new area safely.”

Coloradans can support your local cannabis suppliers

Pinnacol experts found that consumers have a role to play in making the workplaces for delivery drivers safe, as their workplaces include our porches and driveways. Consumers looking to order their Mary Jane curbs should keep the following in mind:

  1. Keep entrances free of ice and snow as well as objects in the way that could represent tripping hazards.
  2. Provide adequate lighting so that delivery personnel can see the walkway or access path clearly.
  3. Give clear instructions in the delivery order so that the delivery driver can easily find your place of residence.
  4. Secure pets elsewhere as the delivery person approaches the door.
  5. Have the required ID (and any means of payment) ready. The longer the driver has to wait for each delivery, the further he can fall behind, leading to rush / accidents.
  6. Be aware that the vehicles cannot be tagged to advertise what they are delivering. So for safety reasons, do not expect pharmacy branding on the mailing bags.

Recommendations from Pinnacol’s security experts to employers include:

  1. Use guidelines to empower employees to leave a location if the surrounding area appears unsafe and advise them never to cross the threshold of residence. Also consider a time limit on waiting for a customer.
  2. Use a panic mechanism to contact authorities, such as a wearable device.
  3. As part of their order transaction, ask customers to secure pets before opening the door and consider a “red flag” list of known addresses with aggressive animals or customers.
  4. Ensure safe loading and unloading areas, ensure that multiple employees participate in these processes, and avoid daily product transfers at predictable times and locations.
  5. Expect employees to minimize phone use while driving and use voice directions for directions. Make sure that the app solution you choose cannot interfere with driving.
  6. Schedule deliveries to minimize rush or time constraints and plan accordingly around busy times.
  7. Make sure the fleets are well maintained and the drivers properly trained. Establish a no-tolerance policy for intoxication while driving.
  8. During the ordering process, ask customers to make sure the walkways are safe and well-lit.
  9. Make sure that employees wear non-slip shoes, especially in bad weather, and train them in the 3-point concept when getting in and out of their vehicles.

Philabaum continued, “Pinnacol has supported cannabis companies from the start and we are excited to help them safely seize this new opportunity and grow their business.”

Pinnacol policyholders who have recently added or plan to add delivery services should notify their agent and / or Pinnacol to ensure adequate insurance coverage.

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