Law Office of Patrick E. O'Neill, PSC

Marijuana use in the workplace can cause injuries

While the use of marijuana remains illegal in Kentucky, there can be little doubt that it is gaining social and cultural acceptance across the country.

Many other states have legalized marijuana for medical use or have taken steps to minimize criminal penalties for using the drug, and a handful of states have legalized the drug outright.

Even for Kentucky residents, what this means is that more and more people who hold down jobs and live productive lives will also have the drug in their system.

According to one group, this raises some important safety concerns, particularly construction sites and other workplaces that have the reputation for being hazardous. Based on its review of the data, the group recommended that those in high risk occupations, like that of a crane operator or a heavy equipment operator, should not use the drug at all.

The group pointed out that the drug does affect a person's coordination and ability to make quick and accurate judgments, both skills that are very important in particularly hazardous jobs. They also pointed out that those workers who had marijuana in their systems both had accidents and suffered injuries at a much higher rate than did those who did not use the drug.

While the group left the possibility that those who used the drug for medical purposes could work in positions which carried lower risk, the bottom line was that, when it comes to dangerous work, marijuana use tends to cause accidents.

With respect to personal injury cases, this report underscores the fact that a victim of a construction accident or other workplace accident should always question whether drug use may have been a contributing factor. A person who has suffered such an injury should speak about this possibility with his or her attorney.

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Law Office of Patrick E. O'Neill, PSC
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Jackson, KY 41339

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