BCCA supports the maintenance of a safe and healthy workplace and the construction safety measures through our active involvement with COCA and WorkSafe BC. We support the establishment of any additional programs to promote excellence in construction safety, including those that regulate substance abuse of any kind. We are actively involved in ensuring that rules and regulations around cannabis use are clear to employers and employees, and align with the Workers Compensation Act s.116 that says “every worker must ensure that the worker’s ability to work without risk to his or her health or safety, or to the health or safety of any other person is not impaired by alcohol, drugs or other causes.”
We advise employers to apply the same rules and policies to cannabis use as they have done for decades in regard to alcohol use: zero tolerance.
We also stress that firms have a duty to accommodate. “Duty to accommodate” is a legal requirement drawn from human rights legislation and Canadian case law which says an employer should reasonably accommodate an individual’s difference, which would include addiction, to the point where doing so does not cause undue hardship to the employer. In terms of enforcement, don’t focus on the substance as much as the ability to work safely.
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