Oregon members of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) attended yesterday’s state House Business and Labor Committee hearing on medical marijuana use in support of legislation ensuring an employer’s right to deal with workers affected by marijuana in the workplace, according to an ASSE press release.

In addition, ASSE President Warren K. Brown, CSP, ARM, CSHM, in a letter sent this week to Oregon Chair of the House Business and Labor Committee Representative Mike Schaufler, said ASSE supports the workplace-related provisions of HB 2497 and HB 3052, which expand the ability of an employer to prohibit use of medical marijuana in the workplace.

At the hearing, ASSE members noted the importance of making sure a workplace is safe for all as they work day in and day out to make sure those employees who come to work leave work injury and illness free and return home safely. They support the provisions contained in HB 2497 and HB 3052 that would help guarantee an employer’s right to protect workplaces and other workers from those who consume or are impaired by marijuana. In their jobs, ASSE members are given the responsibility to help ensure workplace safety and health.

ASSE members noted a worker’s use of a drug like marijuana makes a workplace unsafe and drives up costs of doing business. According to the results of a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-sponsored survey, drug-using employees are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a workplace incident, five times more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim, 2.2 times more likely to request early dismissal or time off, 2.5 times more likely to have absences of eight days or more, and three times more likely to be late for work, says ASSE.

For more information please go to www.asse.org.